During his tenure with the Boston Bruins as their play-by-play broadcaster, Jack Edwards has never been one to hold back a thought or an opinion. Right or wrong, he speaks his mind. In the Bruins’ 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 29, he continued with his off-topic remarks and once again, crossed the line.
In the first period, Lightning veteran forward Pat Maroon was the subject of Edwards’ latest comments. Maroon, who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 238 pounds, was one of the top power forwards in his younger days with his physical presence on nearly every shift he took, but he also had the ability to sprinkle in offensive production. He is a player that the other 31 teams in the league would love to have on their roster. At 34 years old, Maroon has begun to slim down, but that didn’t stop Edwards from commenting in the middle of the broadcast and fat-shaming him.
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“List at 238 pounds. That was Day One of training camp and I have got a feeling he’s had more pizzas before then and now.’’
Former Bruin Andy Brickley has been at Edwards’ side as a color analyst and added his two cents by saying, “that his listed weight was prior to his pregame meal.’’ That statement led to another Edwards rant.
“Inadvertent fasting for Pat Maroon is like going four hours without a meal. But hey, with three (Stanley) Cups in a row, who can argue with his formula?’’
On Wednesday, Maroon responded to Edwards’ comments and in support of people struggling with mental health, he made a donation to Tampa Bay Thrives, which is a nonprofit organization assisting those struggling with mental health and substance use issues by providing navigation, access, and awareness.
Make no mistake about it, Edwards’ comments were distasteful at the time and whether or not you are a fan of Maroon or the Lightning, Edwards crossed a line with those comments. No one should be fat-shamed, but this is just another comment in Edwards’ history behind the microphone for the Bruins that could be considered an embarrassment for NESN, the Bruins’ broadcast partner, and the franchise.
Not Edwards First Time Stepping Over the Line
Edwards’, who started calling just road games in the 2005-06 season before taking on the full-time duties in the 2007-08 season, most disrespectful comment stepping over the line happened early in the 2019-20 season when the Bruins were playing the Dallas Stars on the road. Chris Wagner was going after a puck in the corner when the Stars’ Roman Polak spun around and hit the boards awkwardly in a collision with Wagner and lay motionless on the ice as the whistle blew.
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Edwards was quick to respond with, “Polak had a little bit of bad hockey karma.’’ Moments later, Polak was taken off the ice on a stretcher to a local hospital. Polak’s agent, Allan Walsh, took to Twitter to express his disappointment in the comment after the injury.
Later that same season and right before the COVID-19 shutdown on March 11, the Bruins played the Lightning at the TD Garden and things got chippy once again between the Atlantic Division rivals. Near the end of the second period, former Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara was hit from behind into the boards in the offensive zone. As the play went on, the Bruins appeared to have scored a goal, but it was waived off by the on-ice official, and play continued. Seconds later in the run of play, the arena horn sounded to stop play, which was initiated by the NHL in Toronto.
When play stopped, Maroon slashed Chara, who responded with a slash, which prompted Tampa Bay’s Anthony Cirelli to cross-check Chara to the ice, which started multiple on-ice fights. The Bruins came to the defense of Chara, but so did Edwards with the following comments,
“Alright, alright, alright, it’s time to settle things down. (Sean) Kuraly manhandles (Alex) Killorn. Take your Harvard degree and take it to the hospital.’’
Edwards didn’t stop there.
“Chara’s squaring off with Maroon. He’s saying, ‘You want to see the afterlife? I’ll take you there.’’
Edwards was right, Killorn did attend Harvard University, which is down the street from the TD Garden. In four seasons for the Crimson, he had 53 goals and 56 assists in 130 games. In his senior season of 2011-12, he had 23 goals and 23 assists. I’m sure Killorn takes his Harvard degree with him wherever he goes and holds his head high, not just to the hospital.
Edwards Continues to Cross the Line With His Remarks
There is a clear history of Edwards crossing the line with his comments. It is in the heat of the moment, but still, that does not excuse him from some of the over-the-line comments he has made during his time as Boston’s play-by-play announcer. In June, The Athletic did a poll of the worst TV broadcasts in the league amongst fans and ranked all 32 teams based on the results. The Bruins finished 30th on the list, two spots higher than their 2021 ranking of dead last at No. 32 (from ‘Which NHL broadcasts are the best? Fans rated all 32 teams, The Athletic, June 7, 2022).
It is easy to see why the Bruins’ broadcast is considered one of the worst in the league. If you’re not a fan of the team, it’s very tough to sit down and listen to Edwards for 60 minutes. If you are a fan of the team, it’s just as tough to sit down and listen to Edwards for 60 minutes. Boston is an Original Six franchise with a lot of history and a passionate fan base that follows everything that the team does. They deserve better.
This season, Boston is off to a league-best 19-3-0 start, something that nobody saw coming with the injuries they had to deal with to start the season. They have set an NHL record for consecutive home wins to start a season with 13 and are on a historic early-season run. Bruins fans and all fans of hockey deserve better from the play-by-play broadcasters. I was brought up by my parents and always taught to “think before you speak.’’ Clearly, Edwards needs to try that himself.
Scott Roche covers the Boston Bruins for The Hockey Writers. A frequent user of the Oxford comma. Scott has been a sports writer for 25 years for different sites and daily newspapers. Writing started out as a hobby, but it has become a passion for Scott over the years.