The London Knights are being accused of fraud and dishonorable conduct in a civil suit filed by an avid fan at a London courthouse on Tuesday reported the Toronto Star.
Scott Galbraith, a fan and jersey collector, alleges he paid $3,510 at an auction for a No. 93 Mitch Marner jersey worn during the 2016 Memorial Cup playoffs, but the jersey he received was a fake. “Within two seconds, I knew that it wasn’t real,” Galbraith told the Star. “I’ve been collecting these things for a long time. This jersey was brand new.”
Galbraith’s statement of claim also names the Canadian Hockey League, which hosted the online auction in May, and the Hockey Hall of Fame, which he believes is in possession of the jersey he won. The Hockey Hall of Fame received a Marner jersey, Christian Dvorak’s gloves, Matthew Tkachuk’s stick and Olli Joulevi’s helmet shortly after the Knights completed their march to the 2016 Memorial Cup title.
Galbraith’s $100,000 claim includes $80,000 in aggravated and punitive damages, and he alleges that the team “knowingly” passed off a “false letter of authenticity”for the jersey. The Knights maintain the team honored its commitment to Galbraith, providing him with a Marner jersey worn during the regular season last year. “We said we’d give him a game-worn sweater. He was given a game-worn sweater,” said Trevor Whiffen, the governor of the Knights. “We’ve tried to do everything we can to pacify a long-time Knights fan. We said if you’re not satisfied, we’ll refund your money. He didn’t want that.”
Galbraith’s claim alleges the Hockey Hall of Fame is “unlawfully retaining and using property to which it does not have title” and seeks the return of the jersey. A spokesperson for the Hall of Fame told the Star on Monday that the jersey had been returned to the team as per arrangements made the previous week.
Galbraith is being represented by London-based attorney and former Knights player, Gene Chiarello, who says the jersey his client received is not authentic. “My client is interested in the jersey, not the money. He paid money and he should get the jersey he paid for. He doesn’t have that.”
Whiffen said the Knights sought the jersey’s return from the Hall of Fame to give it to Galbraith in exchange for a signed confidentiality release, but Galbraith refused. “They still want to pursue the right to sue,” said Whiffen.