Jarkko Ruutu, Georges Laraque offer statements on Penguins ‘monkey’ prank

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Jarkko Ruutu, Georges Laraque offer statements on Penguins ‘monkey’ prank
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On Thursday morning, we published a translated excerpt from former NHL pest Jarkko Ruutu’s new Finnish-language autobiography that chronicled a Pittsburgh Penguins locker room prank orchestrated by Georges Laraque and Colby Armstrong, when all three players were with the Pens.

In summary, according to Ruutu: Laraque returned from practice to find a drawing of a monkey holding a banana in his locker; he angrily asked who left it there and Armstrong admitted it was him; when asked why, he said, “What do you mean? He is a [N-word], isn't he?"; then they two began to brawl before they broke up into laughter and revealed it was an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke.

Again, all according to Ruutu, who was there.

“The story is not 100 percent accurate,” Laraque told Puck Daddy on Thursday, after reaching out to us over Twitter. “I was part of it, it was my idea, and it was not accurate.”

Laraque declined to get into specifics on what actually occurred.

Ruutu also reached out to us via email, with a clarification statement that you can read here:

To everybody in the hockey world

There seems to be some misunderstanding in North America regarding a story I told in my recently published autobiography. I would like to clarify to everybody what happened and what was told in the book.

- It was Georges Laraque and Colby Armstrong who together planned the prank.

- I was present in the room, as was the whole team, when those two carried out their plan.

- Absolutely no racism was involved - their idea was to make the team think that there was.

- It was just a prank and I describe it in the book as one of the most well-engineered pranks I encountered during my hockey years.

To make sure, I want to emphasize: noboby was a racist, nobody was insulted and no harm was done to anybody. 

From my standpoint in Finland it seems that this is a classic case of inter-continental translation problem. The story is really simple and harmless and I did not want to create problems to anybody of raise headlines.

The book is not a mud-slinging operation at all - just a straight forward story of my career, trials and tribulations. It really contains very little revelations. But it is a good book! 

Maybe somebody should translate it to English for real.

All the best to everybody,

Jarkko Ruutu

Laraque said he doesn’t have any animosity towards Ruutu, but questioned his decision to publish this story in his book.

“I’ve always liked Jarkko as a guy. But what happens in the room stays in the room,” said Laraque, who played 12 seasons in the NHL. “To write something like that, that can be borderline offside, you have to ask the parties involved. You have to make sure me and Colby are OK with it.”

Clearly, that didn’t happen; and clearly, Laraque wasn’t.

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