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The Chicago Blackhawks have apologized to the Winnipeg Jets and to the NHL after Jets defenseman Adam Pardy had his helmet removed from his head and had beer poured on him by fans at the United Center during Wednesday's game.
"We have spoken to those involved in the incident with an opposing player late in our home game last night at the United Center," the Blackhawks said in a statement on Thursday. "The individuals were immediately ejected from the arena to preserve the safety of everyone in attendance, including other fans, players and officials. We have also been in communication with the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL to convey our organization's apologies."
Pardy was checked by Blackhawks forward Brandon Bollig into the glass during the third period. A section of the glass gave out due to the force and fell onto fans.
While officials and players converged on the area, a fan reached around the sheet of glass and pulled Pardy's helmet off his head. The unidentified fan was seen on television wearing the helmet shortly after. Another unidentified fan was seen pouring her beer onto Pardy.
Pardy told The Associated Press he also lost his stick during the incident.
"I don't know what happened to my stick, either," Pardy said. "It got lost in the crowd somewhere, too. Just a little insult to the injury, I guess. It was a tough night for all of us. It was tough enough to get put through the glass, but then to get a beer thrown on my head, too, it wasn't a good thing."
Video and pictures of the fan wearing Pardy's helmet made their way around the Internet on Thursday. It was also shown a number of times on the United Center's video board on Wednesday.
"I think the fan stole the show by stealing the guy's helmet and putting it on, but the more they showed the replay the more you could see how solid that hit was," Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said after the game. "It was a good forecheck. I know there's a whistle involved, but that was a big hit for sure."