They Kitchener Rangers said they would take action against a Michigan student newspaper and the team followed through.
The club filed papers demanding a retraction hours after the Michigan Daily, the campus paper at the University of Michigan, published a story alleging the team had offered to pay defenceman Jacob Trouba $200,000 in lieu of an education package to come to Kitchener.
The team gave the paper a deadline of Monday to respond but did not hear back. COO Steve Bienkowski says the club will now seek compensation for damages. A claim was expected to be filed today or tomorrow, according to team lawyers.
As noted in the story, it's not the first time this has happened. Three years ago Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson accused the Rangers of trying to pay off blueliner Cam Fowler, who was slated to play for Jackson's squad.
The family denied the allegations. But reports of offers to Fowler had an impact as the family cancelled meetings with the Rangers and the club was forced to put him back into the OHL draft. He ended up playing one season for the Windsor Spitfires.
Trouba is at Winnipeg Jets camp this week, a time when top draft picks often get signed. If he inks a deal, the entire debate will be moot since he will burn his NCAA eligibility and likely be Kitchener bound anyway.
For balance, in today's story, I gave the Michigan Daily a chance to comment on the suit and demands from the Rangers but the editor-in-chief said he could not comment and then hung up the phone when pressed with additional questions.
University of Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson is away for a week and could not be reached. But I interviewed him last summer regarding Trouba and asked him if he thought OHL players ever received under the table deals and he said:
"I don't think Kitchener goes out of their way to bribe these kids or over-influence them. I think they're one of the teams that run their program the way they run it and it's a good operation."