Tag: puck stealing

Steve Miller, David Koci

Accused puck-thieving linesman Steve Miller set to return to duty

Until recently, most hockey fans had never heard of linesman Steve Miller. Miller came to prominence recently after it had come out that he may be the man responsible for the missing Stanley Cup-winning puck from last season’s final.

With stories and evidence piling up that shows that Miller very well might be the guy responsible for the missing vulcanized rubber that the Hockey Hall of Fame would like to have, the NHL moved to take Miller off duty for the first round of the playoffs.

Now with the second round under way and games going on and the NHL in need of their best guys, Miller’s detention is apparently over with and he’s set to return to duty on Tuesday in Tampa Bay.

Wayne Drehs of ESPN.com reports that Miller’s return brings a bit of a soap opera to this year’s playoffs. NHL senior vice president of public relations Gary Meagher says that whatever investigation the NHL did into the matter is now “closed.”

Meagher said Friday that the decision was made to temporarily remove Miller from the playoffs to avoid any potential distractions. Meagher said Miller ws not suspended, and that the league stands behind him.

“There are lots of questions out there and to have any potential distraction while our playoffs are going on is not fair,” Meagher said Friday.

It’s not fair to the playoffs for sure, but it sure sounds like the NHL isn’t done snooping around into this case. At the very least, it seems like Miller is clear of any wrongdoing for the moment. It’s either that or the NHL is letting him go back about his job so the bubbling media circus around this story doesn’t have any fodder to run with if he’s not working.

It bears keeping an eye on and surely more cameras will be trained on him so if he’s got any inclinations to take pucks again, he should consider that Big Brother is watching.

Making lemonade from puck burglary: Chris Pronger says he’d auction Cup finals puck for charity

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When Chris Pronger decided to nab the game puck after the Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals, people called him everything from a scamp to a scoundrel.

He’s probably still a scamp for doing so – chances are, ‘Hawks fans will continue to boo him like they did on Sunday – but it sounds like the goofy scenario might actually end up benefiting a good cause. Pronger told Frank Seravalli of Philly.com that he would be willing to auction the puck off to the highest bidder and then give the proceeds to the charity of that bidder’s choosing.

Pronger discussed the fact that he would probably put it up on eBay to do so, although he was then reminded that Chicago-based restaurant Harry Caray’s was willing to pay $50,000 for the controversial piece of sports memorabilia.

“I have it,” Pronger said. “It’s tucked away somewhere. It’ll wind up on eBay at some point. All proceeds will go to the person that buys its charity.”

Chicago won that game, 2-1, to take a 2-0 lead in the series. The Flyers went on to win the next two games at the Wells Fargo Center before Pronger tried to take the puck again after the Blackhawks’ win in Game 5.

Pronger made headlines as the puck thief, so much so that a Chicago establishment – Harry Caray’s, a restaurant named after the late Cubs broadcaster – publicly offered $50,000 for the puck Pronger swiped.

“If they want to give me 50-grand, I’ll donate it to charity,” Pronger said. “You get me their name and number and I’ll do it.”

It would be very cool if that silly scene ends up being more than a bit of in-series gamesmanship. We’ll let you know if that happens.

(Puck burglar illustration by Deven “Gray” Hoover from Couch Tarts.)