Mike Milbury charged with assault

Former Boston Bruins player and coach Mike Milbury has been charged with assault and battery on a child after an incident at a pee-wee hockey game.

Milbury, who is currently an NHL analyst for Versus' "NHL Live," as well as the CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada," also was charged with threats to commit a crime and disorderly conduct after allegedly verbally and physically assaulting a 12-year-old boy during a Dec. 9 game at the rink at Larz Andersen Park in Brookline, Mass.

One of Milbury's employers, NBC Sports, said Friday that he had been taken off the air.

"In our discussions with Mike, we both came to the conclusion that he should remain off the air while focusing on his affairs," said spokesman Chris McCloskey in a statement.

Milbury is an assistant coach for his son's team in the league. During an exhibition game, his son got into a scrape with an opponent. According to the Boston Herald, Milbury charged onto the ice and berated and shook the opposing player.

Millbury refuted that characterization on Saturday.

''I want to be clear about a couple of things,'' Milbury told the Boston Globe. ''No one was punched, kicked, or assaulted in any way. I know the 'Mad Mike' image that I have and all that. I love the game, I'm passionate about it, but I don't smack kids around. I grabbed the other kid by the sweater to stop a fight and, yeah, I swore at him. That's it. That's what I did.

''And ... this was also after watching my kid get verbally bullied by the other player for over two hours. It was the third time that night that Jake and the kid got into it, and that was the last straw for Jake. I mean, what kid can take that?"

The 59-year-old Milbury must appear in Brookline District Court to answer the charges, but no court date has been set.

Milbury maintains he caused the child no physical harm.

Asked what happened, he told the Globe: ''I yelled at him, 'What did you say?! What the [expletive] did you just say to [Jake]?' "

Milbury played 12 seasons as as defenseman for the Bruins from 1974 to 1987. He coached the Bruins from 1988 to 1990, leading them to the Stanley Cup finals in his first season.

He later coached and served as general manager of the New York Islanders.