Hockey player banned from Blackhawks' training facility after having safety concerns dismissed

Hockey player banned from Blackhawks' training facility after having safety concerns dismissed

An amateur hockey player in Chicago has been banned from Johnny's Ice House, the Chicago Blackhawks training facility, after an armed robbery.

Tim O'Shea didn't commit the crime, nor was he the victim of the incident in which three other amateur hockey players were robbed at gunpoint by three men in the facility's parking garage, with one of the hockey players pistol-whipped before the trio of gunmen made off with their wallets and keys.

What O'Shea did do was reach out to the facility to express concern once he'd heard what happened, to ask how Johnny's Ice House might try to improve safety in and around the building. The response was a standard one, for the most part, with GM Kevin Rosenquist telling him the robbery was being taken very seriously. But it ended with this little jab:

"If you or your friends are questioning your association with the league due to safety concerns, then I would suggest perhaps the city is not for you and you should look into playing in the suburbs."

"When I read it, I was a little shocked by the response," O'Shea told NBC Chicago. "I think the biggest concern should be for the safety of those that play there. It's not just the men's league players, it's the youth organizations, like I said, the Blackhawks are there. If this would have happened to the Blackhawks I think the response would have been different."

But here's the critical part from that last graph: O'Shea told NBC Chicago. When they came around to do a story on the robbery, he mentioned the nasty signoff in the e-mail, and as a result, the story's headline went from "3 Robbed at Hawks' Practice Facility" to "3 Robbed at Hawks' Practice Facility, Player Says Safety Concerns Dismissed."

When it aired, O'Shea was promptly banned from Johnny's Ice House for life.

From NBC Chicago's follow up piece, Hockey Player Banned For Life after NBC Report (because O'Shea learned nothing in all this):

Following the NBC report, O'Shea saw his name highlighted in red on the facility's website, noting he was suspended. He emailed Johnny's Ice House owner Tom Moro and received a response telling him to never come back. Moro has not replied to multiple requests for comment from NBC 5.

"I informed both of your captains that you are no longer welcome in our buildings," Moro wrote in the email. "You are a coward Mr. O'Shea, do not ever contact us again or we will inform the police that you are harassing our employees. I hope you enjoyed your 5 minutes of fame.

So rather than taking Rosenquist to task for a needlessly confrontational response to an e-mail from a concerned customer, Moro went after O'Shea for snitching, basically. Sounds like Chicago.

According to Moro, if O'Shea ever sets foot in the building again, he'll be arrested for trespassing immediately. Good Lord.

Frankly, though, maybe O'Shea should look into playing in the suburbs. I'll bet the facility managers and owners are a great deal more reasonable out there.