Thursday night will be a matchup of two of the NHL's best teams as the Bruins visit the Lightning in Tampa. But there's also a fascinating subplot here: the Jack Edwards vs. Pat Maroon saga.
This will be the teams' first meeting since Edwards, NESN's play-by-play voice, took a couple digs at Maroon's weight during a game on Nov. 29, saying that he has "had a few more pizzas" since training camp and that "inadvertent fasting [he meant intermittent] for Pat Maroon is like four hours without a meal."
The Lightning forward made it clear afterwards that he wasn't happy about the comments.
"You just don't talk bad about someone like that for a minute straight, for no reason," Maroon told The Athletic at the time. "I get it — if we're out on the ice and guys are chirping and guys are doing those things, that's part of hockey. That's part of it. But someone on national TV when (potentially) millions of listeners are watching or tuned in, and he just basically cut me down. Uncalled for, unnecessary. I don't understand why he did that. But it is what it is. It's over, it's done. And we turned a negative into a positive."
The positive was Maroon making a $2,000 donation to Tampa Bay Thrives in Edwards' name "in support of those struggling with mental health, bullying and body image." More than $50,000 in additional donations rolled in within 24 hours.
Edwards never publicly apologized for his comments, but did release a statement saying he was "sensitive to the subject of body image," "didn't intend to offend anyone," and that he had reached out to the Lightning to try to connect with Maroon.
Maroon and the Lightning never granted Edwards' request to talk, leaving Thursday morning as the first time Edwards would have had a chance to connect, which Edwards did during Tampa Bay's morning skate media availability.
Apparently, it didn't go very well. Erik Erlendsson, a longtime Tampa Bay beat reporter for Lightning Insider, shared a photo and some details of the meeting on Twitter. According to him, it wasn't "exactly going well for Edwards" and it was "evident Maroon is still displeased with the situation."
It sounds like the conversation was probably easy to overhear given that other players and media were also in the dressing room, but Erlendsson understandably didn't want to share too much of what was said.
Edwards will be on the call for NESN Thursday night. It will be interesting to see if he addresses the situation at all.