Former Boston Bruin and current NHL analyst Mike Milbury has been charged with assault and battery of a 12-year old boy today.

The alleged incident took place at the Anderson Rink in Brookline, Mass last week. Milbury is an assistant coach with the team there, and the incident apparently involved a player on the opposing team.

It sounds like the young player and his son had a game-long battle going on, and they somehow managed to get into a scuffle during a just-for-fun post-game shootout (it was an exhibition game). Apparently Milbury stepped in to separate the two, grabbed the other kid by the cage and shook him. He went so far as to lift the kid off the ice (not by the cage, I presume) before dropping him.

As I mentioned on Twitter earlier today: while “grabbed and shook” sounds a lot less menacing than “assault and battery,” it doesn’t excuse Milbury’s actions. (For more on this, check out Deadspin.)

How enraged do you have to be to become physically involved with a kid that age, especially in front of other people? That’s anger management-level furious, isn’t it?

Being on the other end of that can be a scary time for a kid – I personally remember being around eight or nine and having my coach grab my cage and shake it over lord-knows-what. I remember it well for two reasons: one, it hurt, and two, my Dad saw.

I remember walking out of the dressing room and seeing my Dad with a handful of my coach’s shirt, up against a wall, talking very calmly to him from baseball umpire/manager distance away. I assume he said “please do not ever do that again.” (“…..or I’ll punch your nose through your neck.”)

It’s incredible to me what goes on in minor hockey arenas around the country. Everyone has played on a team with “that Dad” that bellows at his kid on the ice throughout the whole game.

I never got it, honestly. My Dad never said a word to me about my play until we were in the car, and generally only if I asked about something. Both of my parents would shamelessly lie to me and tell me I played well constantly, because their goal wasn’t for me to be Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but rather to enjoy the game (and help me improve where they could).

So when I’d see or hear other parents freaking the truck out over some on-ice decision, it would baffle me. It still baffles me, even when it involves Mike Milbury, his son, and some verbal disagreement.

Anyway, before I break off on a longer minor hockey tangent, here comes the oh-so-bold long and short of it: parents should never be so involved in their kid’s sports that they feel the need to physically accost a 12 year old. Yeah. I said it.

Somone had to have the stones to take the hard-line stance. Sorry if that’s too out there for anyone.

Comments (21)

  1. I’m with you all the way, someone has to stop Milbury !
    Go Justin Go!

  2. I don’t think that’s a hard line stance. I think that’s a “rational adult” stance.

    Notwithstanding that – it would be interesting to see some video. If Milbury’s “assault” is him dragging Kid A off of Kid B – that’s another story. Milbury is a public figure and parents can be ridiculous and it would not be unheard of for something pretty innocuous to be blown out of proportion.

  3. I hope Cherry doesn’t call you out for trying to take a long cherished past time away from the game. I’m not sure the game would be the same without “that Dad”.

  4. “parents should never be so involved in their kid’s sports that they feel the need to physically accost a 12 year old. ”

    For hockey ‘stuff’, I agree with you. However, ‘never’ is a big word. If one 12 yr old was trying to literally take my kid’s head off with a stick, I’d be on the ice physically accosting him.

    • That’s what the refs are there for. Get their attention and direct them over. Parents should never be on the ice.

  5. Honestly, it’s not at all an “out there” stance.
    I worked as a timekeeper for four years in high school -and I was a good one!- with the local house league, and the things I saw (and sometimes was a recipient of) were just absolutely astonishing. The language and behaviour would have no place on a public street, let alone the lowest level of a kid’s rec league.
    It was quite terrifying as a 16 year old 4′ 5″ tall girl to have some forty-five year old man be so furious I thought he would punch me because the ref messed up credit for a goal…and not even a hattrick goal. Or, y’know, an OT game seven Stanley Cup Final goal.

    Such a shame when parents can’t just take a step back and remember: it’s just hockey. I sincerely doubt Milbury’s kid was in any danger to warrant his intervention.

  6. Ahhh, I was joking about it being a “hard line” stance, I assumed everyone would agree with that. And sure, Stu, there are exceptions of course, but sticks and stone and so on, ya know?

    Curious if you read the Deadspin piece to see how Milbury’s kid is described – sounds like a biased description, but still, you have to wonder how all the hatred for the “pansification” of the game has shaped his boy.

    • Yep, sounds just like how I’d imagine Milbury’s kid would behave. And Milbury sounds just like “that Dad”.

      My point was that there are times where it’s ok to go sit on another kid if no one else is. Refs tend not to like stepping in front of sticks to protect players, but I would if it was my kid being hit.
      But I know I’ve pulled my own kid off the ice for boarding multiple other kids across several games, to teach him a lesson on right/wrong. And had numerous conversations about chirping, after the game is over.

  7. I remember when people used to seriously discuss Mike Milbury taking over from Don Cherry. Not sure Cherry, for all his faults (there are many), would advocate doing that to any child.

    • “Now listen here kids – NO SERIOUSLY, LISTEN HERE OR I WILL DO YOU PHYSICAL HARM.” – Milbury as Cherry

  8. Any chance Millbury took the kids skate off and clobbered him over the head with it?

  9. As a coach I’ve always loved dealing with the kids and hated dealing with the parents. The angriest parents always seem to be the ones complaining about ice time for their kids.

    I’ve NEVER biased one kid over another (as a house league coach there is simply no justification for it. One goal down in the last 30 seconds, the kids that go on are the next kids in line. Period). Doesn’t matter how much you tell them that though, they will simply make stuff up in their own minds. I’ve had parents (long ago in Toronto) screaming in my face about perceived ice-time problems. These days thousands of miles away in San Jose and 20 years later, the same stuff still happens.

    Seems to be a hockey thing. Other sports are not nearly as prone to it. Never saw it with baseball for instance.

  10. My thoughts

    1) Milbury’s an adult and a physical one.
    2) A coach should never put his hands on any child other than their own, ever unless it is a pat on the back style.
    3) A coach should never engage a player on the other team other than to say ‘great job’ or to congratulate them.
    4) He should be tried and if found guilty, convicted and made to serve whatever the penalty is.
    5) USA Hockey should revoke his coaching cert, and bar him from any contact with youth hockey for life.

    Whether he shook the kid lightly is immaterial, he never should have ever made any contact what so ever with the child. He should not have been on the ice at all unless crossing the ice to leave the arena or attend to an injured player.

    I’ve coached hockey and I coach soccer. I see this crap far too often…once is too much to be honest. I hope he is charged, I hope he is tried, I hope the evidence is clear and if convicted he serves whatever harshest punishment the courts can give him.

    • All absolutely true. The only exception to the ‘never touch’ thing would be (I guess conceivably, though I’ve never had to) in the case of injuries and when they are REALLY small (mini-mite), picking them up off the ice during practices (especially goalies) :-)

      Good point on USAHockey, but it looks like he was an assistant, not a head, and many rinks don’t require cert for the assistants (though I’m guessing they all do background checks now).

      • Peter: I was hoping that was implied by my comment about the coach shouldn’t even be on the ice unless he was scraping up an injured player.

        Most leagues require that a person have a USA Hockey cert to be on the bench at all. It should be revoked, permanently.

        I live on Long Island NY, and a number of years back we had an incident where a parent, at the end of a championship game, opened the rink door, walked 20′ or there abouts, grabbed a 12 year old kid who was tussling with his son, picked him up by his neck and slammed him against the boards.

        He was forcibly removed from the rink by the refs, fled in his car and no one would identify him even though he was a parent of a kid on the team and they knew who he was…including the league. He was charged, but never tried. He was to my understanding successfully sued. And for Mr. Bourne, this occurred at the Islanders practice facility.

        And yes, when I first read this the sick side of me wanted to know if he used the kid’s shoe.

  11. Justin give your pops a big pat on the back for never coaching you – that’s the coach’s job. While shooting games of youth hockey I always witnessed parents yelling plays for their kids to do…or where to be positioned. I can’t imagine how this would be for a coach. The fact that your dad sat back and kept his mouth closed until you got in the car speaks volumes for te type of respect he had for your team and for you.

  12. When I first read the headline my first thought was: “Did he beat him with is own shoe?”

    I realize Mike Milbury is still employed as an on-air analyst because he’s a controversial figure. I love controversial figures but not when they are ignorant. Milbury is ignorant and is the cause of being controversial. Please, someone, fire Mike Milbury.

  13. I really want to see the video of this.

  14. What an A$S-H0Ie. He’s a useless Pr- -k on TV too. E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y HATES this JERK.

  15. I heard he want into the crowd at the arena and beat the kid’s dad up with his own shoe. Just for good measure

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