While the NHL on NBC has drawn plenty of praise from hockey fans over its 10 seasons, some of its analysts are more controversial. Pierre McGuire and Jeremy Roenick have each taken plenty of ribbing over the years, but the biggest lightning rod on NBC’s coverage might be former shoe-brawling player, coach and general manager Mike Milbury, whose introductory paragraph on Wikipedia concludes “He is most known for his antics on television and his destruction of the New York Islanders.” Milbury has done everything from calling a player “a self-centered little dink” on air to physically attacking bloggers and 12-year-old players (he was charged with assault in the latter case, but the charges were dropped), and there are plenty of hockey fans who don’t like his on-air performance.
Apparently, over 10,000 of those fans feel strongly enough that they’ve signed “A petition to remove NBC Sports Network desk analyst, Mike Milbury.” The petition was started this week following Milbury’s comments on John Scott at the All-Star Game. Here’s what the petition says:
Former NHL player, coach, general manager and current NBC Sports Network desk analyst Mike Milbury has proved time in and time out that he is unfit to do his job properly. His rude and demeaning matter has not only made many of the NBCSN Intermission reports significantly less enjoyable but has also caused many of the fans to call for a change, something that NBC has failed to do. Many believe he is a disgrace to the sport of hockey everywhere and he has proved it once again during the 2016 NHL All Star Weekend. Milbury has said several incredibly disrespectful comments regarding the fan voted captain for the Pacific Division, John Scott. No player no matter what the circumstances should blatantly be made fun of, especially a fan voted player during the All Star Weekend, a weekend said to be for the fans.
Additionally Scott has been a positive influence for the players and fans throughout the weekend and is a clear fan favorite, only to be demeaned by Mike Milbury’s spineless and bad-mannered comments. These comments do not only affect John Scott but each and every fan who passionately voted to see him play. Scott has fans, friends, family, teammates and all the players by his side rooting for him all the way and closely watching only to have Mike Milbury de-escalate everyone’s high spirits and good times. Please do the fans, players, media personalities and John Scott a favor by signing this petition to remove the embarrassment that is Mike Milbury from NBC Sports Network entirely, thank you.
That has to be the only time Milbury has been accused of deescalating anything, and it certainly shows there are plenty of people who aren’t Milbury fans. However, don’t expect NBC to do anything here, even if the petition hits its goal of 15,000 signatures. They’ve taken plenty of criticism for employing Milbury before, and if they were going to part ways with him, they would have done so over one of the bigger incidents, not “disrespectful comments” about John Scott.
Scott seems to be a key component in Change.org petitions at the moment, though, as 9,664 people signed a petition to keep him in the All-Star Game (that happened, but who knows if the petition played any role). There are also efforts underway to name him the grand marshal of the Calgary Stampede and put him on the cover of NHL ’17. While those latter efforts only have 407 and 371 supporters respectively as of Tuesday afternoon, they probably have a better chance of success than this plan to depose Milbury.