Paul Maurice Florida Panthers head coach Jun 7, 2024; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice speaks to reporters during media day in advance of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Amerant Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The growing AI revolution threatens to blur the lines between fact and fiction, and NHL fans got a glimpse of that uncertain future this week during the Stanley Cup Final.

An AI-generated video that surfaced on X (formerly Twitter) appeared to show Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice bad-mouthing and even threatening Edmonton Oilers stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

The deep-fake video purportedly showed Maurice meeting reporters after the Panthers’ Game 2 victory. He appeared to praise Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov for outplaying McDavid and Draisaitl.

“He fed both of those men their jockstrap, both of these games,” the video showed Maurice saying.

The faux Maurice also referenced an incident in the game in which Draisaitl hit Barkov.

“What we saw out there tonight was frustration,” the AI video Maurice said. “We’ll see how the league wants to deal with it. If they want to make the wrong decision about what to do about that play, then McDavid, Draisaitl … keep your f****** head up.”

In this case, the video was easily disproven, because Maurice’s actual post-game comments were on video.

(Ironically, Sportsnet, the source for the above video, had its X account taken over by hackers for several hours right before the Stanley Cup Final.)

Every day we get closer to a world where such deep fakes become harder to detect, and the potential ramifications will be greater. Just last month a high school athletic director in Maryland was accused of using AI to impersonate the school’s principal making racist comments.

Now imagine these deep-fake videos being used to influence presidential elections and other important world events. Welcome to the future.


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.