NESN announcer Jack Edwards.

On Thursday, the Boston Bruins take on the Tampa Bay Lighting for the first time since November.

Prior to the game, Bruins broadcaster Jack Edwards apologized to Pat Maroon of the Lightning for body shaming comments he made during the first matchup between the teams.

The Athletic’s Joe Smith reported that the two shook hands after a conversation. Edwards told Smith about his talk with Maroon, saying  his comments back in November were “not intended to be mean-spirited” and that Edwards respected him.

Edwards told The Athletic later that he tried to explain to Maroon where he was coming from with his comments. He then wanted to listen to Maroon, who made it clear why he was upset and then told Edwards he had “moved on.”

“It was not intended to be mean-spirited. I went to Pat and explained that,” Edwards said. “He got his feelings off his chest, and I listened to all of it. I was not going to walk away. I let him go as long as he could. I wanted him to know I respected him as much as any NHL player for lasting as long as he has. Every single player who has played in the NHL is an unbelievable athlete, and I made that clear.”

He also offered context for his comments.

“With all due respect, and respect is due, Pat Maroon is a throwback player,” Edwards said. “He isn’t going to win many footraces. But once he posts up in front of the goal, he’s an elephant to move and guys try everything. The reason he has been a member of three Stanley Cup-winning teams in a row and four finals in a row — the list is really tiny for guys that changed franchises — is because he is the immovable object, and a lot of that has to do with his immense stature.

“So over the course of 18 years, there’s been an ongoing joke about training camp weight and midseason weight, and it was in the continuing context of that where the joking around happened.”

To close, Edwards said that “intentional misreading of my intent ran rampant.”

“I try not to regret things. I try to learn from them,” Edwards said. “The latitude which I live in has sharply decreased because there’s corporate concerns about turning a certain segment of the audience off. … It’s too late for me to change my style, but …

“I didn’t make fun of people who are struggling with mental illness. I didn’t use the word ‘fat’ at any time. Intentional misreading of my intent ran rampant.”

Here’s what Edwards said about Maroon two months ago.

It starts with color commentator Andy Brickley saying “Pretty good strong shift there for the fourth line for Tampa. Maroon, he’s a handful down in that offensive zone below the goal line.” Edwards responds “Listed at 238 pounds. That was day one of training camp. I’ve got a feeling he’s had a few more pizzas between then and now.” Brickley then says “Yeah, that’s before pregame.” And Edwards says “Yeah, right. Fasting! Inadvertent fasting for Pat Maroon is like four hours without a meal. But hey, three [Stanley] Cups in a row, who can argue with his formula?”

Following the initial game and Edwards’ comments, Maroon made a donation in Edwards’ name to Tampa Bay Thrives, a non-profit organization assisting those with mental health and substance abuse issues.

[Yahoo! Sports, The Athletic]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.