January 22, 2014
Apparently — and allegedly, since none of this has been proven in court — it's not for nothing that sports reporter Tieja MacLaughlin's Twitter bio reads, "The first rule of life, love and hockey is the same..."
Fill in the blank, but remember these are all allegations.
Journalists dating people who are on their beat is already dodgy ethically, and then there's this shocking story about a relationship between a 25-year-old reporter and a Western Hockey League player gone wrong. At this writing, Tieja MacLaughlin, who was recently working as a freelance reporter in Kelowna, B.C., has been "ordered held without bail" as Benton County, Wash., prosecutors review allegations that the Paris, Ont., native drove across the U.S. border with plans to kill her boyfriend, Tri-City Americans left wing Jackson Playfair.
Prosecutors have until Thursday to decide whether to file charges.
And here you thought Playfair's recent trade from Spokane to Tri-City was the biggest change in his life.
According to Kennewick police and documents, Playfair told police at 2:30 a.m. Saturday that he has been in a dating relationship with MacLaughlin since July, but said "it has been a rocky one."
MacLaughlin learned Friday that her boyfriend had been with someone else, and told him over the phone that she was on her way to Kennewick, court documents said.
During that call, she told Playfair that "he would be dead by the end of the night," documents said.
Police met with MacLaughlin at a Kennewick hotel and warned her that she would be arrested if she did not stop contacting Playfair.
MacLaughlin promised officers she would stay away from him and return to Canada, Sgt. Ken Lattin told the Herald.
But MacLaughlin allegedly sent him text messages to meet her at the hotel. Police instructed Playfair to tell MacLaughlin that he would be there, Lattin said.
Officers showed up at the hotel and arrested MacLaughlin on Saturday afternoon. In an interview with police, she denied making the remarks to Playfair, court documents said. (Tri-City Herald)
There are two sides to every story, of course, and not all the facts are known. One would hope however this plays out in the legal system is in proportion with what actually happened.
MacLaughlin, a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., was an intern with the Ottawa Senators. The 25-year-old Paris, Ont., native also worked as a social media liaison for Sportsnet Friday Night Hockey during the 2012-13 season.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.