The Leafs fan who got KO'd in Boston

Steve Dangle
May 06 2013 02:35AM

After the Leafs’ Game 2 victory over the Boston Bruins, a video began to make the rounds of a Leafs fan lying unconscious in the TD Garden. Witnesses said he had been assaulted by an angry Bruins fan (who ran off and has not been found), and taken to hospital. The video now has well over 45,000 views.

As more information came out, the victim’s identity became public. His name is Kyle Hay, and it turns out that he is a friend of a friend of mine, Bryan Barton. Byran happened to be there with him, as well. I got in contact with both of them late Sunday night. Many people have been asking about the exact details of the incident, so here’s what they had to say.

“The game was amazing,” said Bryan, friend of the victim. “The people in the row behind us were really cool. They chatted with us the whole time and didn't give us any trouble, however several people were thrown out in rows further above us for throwing things at us and heckling non-stop. Also, washrooms were tough to visit at Intermission as well, but nothing that you wouldn't expect, I'd say.”

It was after the game however where taunting turned into assault.

“After the game I was blind-sided with a sucker punch while I had my mask on,” Kyle, who was also celebrating his birthday, explained. “Honestly, I do not remember what happened.”

Obviously Kyle does not remember being knocked out, so he needed his friends to fill him in. Bryan helps there.

“Our buddy Patrick was the only one to see what actually happened and was with him the entire time afterwards. You can see him in the video. We came down the same stairs about two minutes later and that's when we realized what had happened. “

Comments on the YouTube video and on other forums suggest that maybe Kyle and his friends were antagonizing Bruins fans after the game, and perhaps “had it coming.” Kyle says that’s not true.

“There was no chirping going on when it happened. Just a pissed off fan, I guess.”

A scrap at a sporting event, especially a hockey game, probably doesn’t seem that out of the ordinary. Kyle’s injuries were fairly severe however, as he explains. 

“I had a cat scan done, I got three staples in the back of my head, swollen cheek, cut the inside my mouth, and concussed. I don't remember the end of the game because of it.”

Bryan and company had to get Kyle medical attention, so they waited for an ambulance.

“There were all the boys (6 of us) with him, as well as the paramedics and a few members of security from the arena, who were not very helpful at all," Bryan recalled. "One of the boys went to the hospital with him in the ambulance, and the rest of us walked there. It was only about a mile away. We waited in the waiting room until about 2am when they released him. To be honest, we have no idea what he's going to be looking at in terms of the hospital bill. One could only assume it will be expensive though because he had to take an ambulance, have a cat scan done, as well as have the staples put into his head.” 

“We are really trying to get him tickets for Game 3 or 4 at the very least. It would be unreal because his birthday was ruined.”

Kyle is awaiting his medical bill from the ordeal and says he does not know how much it will be. Now back home in Ontario, he went to Oshawa General Hospital on Sunday for a checkup.

Based on his tweet after realizing many fans were talking about his story, it appears Kyle's sense of humor is intact.

NO INSTIGATION

Some might still be suspicious that Kyle or his friends instigated their own attack. One user on Reddit however, claims to have sat near Kyle and his group, and that they did no such thing. 

TICKETS FOR KYLE 

Kyle doesn't know what his medical bill will be, but I would really like to find a way to get it paid for. Having to pay for being the victim of an unprovoked attack doesn't sit right.

Many are pushing for Kyle to get tickets to a Leafs home playoff game, including our buddies over at pensionplanpuppets.com

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Steve Dangle has a YouTube channel with over 3 million views and is the co-host of the Steve Dangle Podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud. Steve has also worked for CBC, the NHL Network, Leafs TV, Nike, the KHL, and most of all, the Toronto Zoo. stevedangle.com
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#1 Heather
May 08 2013, 03:42PM
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I like how there is NO mention about the Bruins fans that did help you while everyone else just stood around. I was the one that made sure you were breathing and had a pulse when your eyes were rolled back in your head and you were completely unresponsive. We came around the corner and saw you laying there on the ground with people either walking by or just staring at you. You said it isnt true that you were antagonizing fans, “There was no chirping going on when it happened. Just a pissed off fan, I guess.” However I was standing there before you went into the stairwell and watched you and your friend argue with two other Bruins fans. I am in no way saying you deserved this in any way, but don't say that you didn't do anything. I didnt see you get punched so possibly at the time you were hit you werent doing anything. But part of me finds it hard to believe after watching you and your friend yell at the Bruins fan that you wanted to take it outside before security told you to keep it moving and go home. I am disgusted with the Bruins fans that did this to you. I hate that you and your friends had to spend your time in Boston like this. I am glad to know that ultimately you are okay. But it would be nice if you at least acknowledged those Bruins fans that did stop and help you.

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#2 Andy
May 06 2013, 03:12AM
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That's awful - spoils the birthday and the win for the poor guy. It just seems ridiculous that people don't realise once the game is in the books it's done; but sadly that's the case here.

Keep us posted, Steve. Hope that Kyle gets those tickets.

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#3 craig maxwell
May 06 2013, 04:17AM
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After all the good things being said about Boston Strong, it only takes one mindless coward to tarnish this image.

Lets hope that all the Leafs fans going to the game tonight cheer loud and proud but show travelling fans some respect no matter what the score line is at the end of the game.

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#4 Ferg
May 06 2013, 04:53AM
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As much as I hope the guy gets tickets,I hope he gets his medical bills covered more - keep us posted - I know leafs nation will step up.

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#5 whichonespink
May 06 2013, 06:04AM
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If the Leafs have any good PR people they'll come through with 2 tix somewhere in the building, or maybe someone can't make it to the game, or someone with a box can invite him and a friend. Be nasty to Boston fans, but no hitting. Remember we're Canadians, we're the nice guys!

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#6 Jon
May 06 2013, 06:09AM
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@craig maxwell

How does one coward at a sporting event relate to Boston's response to a terrorist attack? This incident is unfortunate, and I hope Kyle gets plenty of restitution, but your point is outlandish and in extremely poor taste.

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#7 Joshua Taylor
May 06 2013, 07:06AM
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Hey, horrible to hear that happened to you, especially on your birthday :( the Leafs-Habs game on the 27th of February was my birthday... At least they won yours :p Just making a joke, I can't believe someone would do that. I'd hope no Toronto fan would act so horribly.

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#8 jo
May 06 2013, 07:18AM
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Whether they "taunted" the Bruins fans or not is irrelevant. No amount of verbal provocation deserves an assault like that

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#9 Claire
May 06 2013, 08:19AM
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Have Kyle check with the state law agency's. Some states will cover medical bills for persons that are victims of violent crimes. My brother was assaulted in Florida and the state paid his medical bills.

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#10 Adam
May 06 2013, 08:51AM
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Where is a link or anything where it can be donated? I'm a Leafs fan and posted the link on facebook, a Bruins friend of mine posted this on my facebook.

No one deserves to be treated like that at a hockey game. A true Bruins fan wouldn't do that to anyone no matter what shirt they are wearing. Toronto played great and deserved that win. If there is a website for donations to pay his bill let me know and I will pass it around to some real fans. As a Bruins fan I would like to apologize for this and hopefully all the fighting stays on the ice.

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#11 PopsTwitTar
May 06 2013, 09:04AM
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Ridiculous. People take sports way too seriously.

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#12 Jenna
May 06 2013, 09:07AM
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Lets remember not all hockey fans of any team are as classless as the guy who assaulted our fan(s), it's always that one group of hooligans who are too drunk for their own good & possibly don't give a crap about the actual game/sport...but this does really disgust me. Hope they find the plug that did this. Speedy recovery to Kyle.

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#13 Chris
May 06 2013, 09:12AM
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As a Bostonian and a Bruins fan I feel like I should apologize for this douche. Needless to say, whoever this gutless jack-ass is, he is not representative of the fanbase. Good luck tonight guys and I wish Kyle the best.

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#14 Unknown Comic
May 06 2013, 09:26AM
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Bruins fans appear to have some odd emotional need to mock and deride the opponent rather than cheer their own team.

Somehow, they feel by belittling the opponent, they can puff out their chests more? It starts with their Management constantly complaining about "embellishment", to their media who have no problem attacking opponents with editorial pieces. The Boston fan then takes their cues and applies it to situations like this one.

As a Vancouver fan, I saw it lots in the finals. Had some Indian friends also attend 2 games in the finals and they were endlessly subject to racial taunts while in the stands.

Here's the same group that chanted "flopper" to Raymond while he laid on the ice with a broken back.

No, it's not all Bruins fans, but there is definately something there

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#15 Unreal
May 06 2013, 10:08AM
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I agree with what @UnknownComic is saying. I always hear stories like this coming out of Boston in general. Now I think the fuel into the fire for this situation was when the Bruins fans rallying point "Thank you Kessel." was ironically voided that night by a game winning goal coming from his stick, which may have pushed a few more than likely drunk fans over the edge. But it just seems like Boston sports fans get pushed over that edge a little bit easier than most other places.

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#16 Killawatt
May 06 2013, 10:10AM
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I'm glad the guy is OK. It goes without saying that nobody deserves to be physically harmed at a sporting event.

In saying that, you have to protect yourself when you are an away fan. People are drinking, tempers and emotions will flare up. Especially in a place like Boston or Philly. They should have a much better security presence after these games but in my experience they don't. My advise to anybody going to the games is to watch your ass if the Leafs win. Unfortunately your cheering and joy can be translated as rubbing it into the Boston fans and blood will boil.

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#17 Walter Lauinger
May 06 2013, 10:26AM
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Sorry, Toronto. I hope the person is ok. Actually, the Leafs did very well in game one.

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#18 Walter Lauinger
May 06 2013, 10:30AM
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@Walter Lauinger

I meant game 2.

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#19 marinonwo
May 06 2013, 10:58AM
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I'm from Boston and this is typical Boston behavior. The city is a bunch of jerk-offs that claim to be hockey fans. They should learn a thing or two from REAL hockey cities like Toronto - a place where I donned my Bruins attire and only was approached to engage in hockey talk.

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#20 Joe
May 06 2013, 11:00AM
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As a Bruins fan/season ticket holder and avid fan of hockey, I'm sorry that some DB did this to you. Not everyone in Boston is a real piece of work like that guy, it only takes a few to get a bad rap. We're a passionate city when it comes to sports but there are a lot of meat heads too. Hope you're ok bud

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#21 bruinsfan
May 06 2013, 11:04AM
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As a lifelong Bruins fan, I'm sickened by what happened to Kyle. This incident has nothing to do with being a Bruins fan or a hockey fan in general - it has everything to do with a violent physical assault. I hope to God that the guy who hit Kyle is brought to justice and that Kyle is feeling better. Long story short - the Leafs outplayed the B's in game two and any real fan (or real human being for that matter) would have just appreciated the game for what is was and left the outcome at the door. Get well soon Kyle and hope that you're feeling well enough to check out Game 3 tonight!

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#22 SD
May 06 2013, 11:08AM
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As a bruins fan, I hope they catch this thug and throw the book at him, and also that he loses what little he is worth in a lawsuit. Most importantly a speedy recovery to Kyle. I play hockey with a bunch of leaf fans and they are all great guys and love their leafs, as they should. I was actually looking forward to watching the festive atmosphere in TO tonight as it's been far too long.

I apologize for the true bruin fan base. I know going up to TO that while I might expect heckling and no doubt some memorable putdowns, I would not expect to be assaulted.

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#23 debbie
May 06 2013, 11:09AM
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@Andy

I am from MA and I want to say I am so sorry about the behavior of a few dumb asses. Not all Boston fans do what they did to u and speaking for Boston Bruin fans we are very very sorry. Hope u feel well soon and good luck with those tickets. Have your friend start a fund to help with your bill I am sure you will get what you need. Get well soon

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#24 Sasha
May 06 2013, 11:18AM
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This makes me angry. I'm not going to say anything negative cause there is no need. As a Torontonian, I don't think I will be going to Boston anytime soon during a play off game. Happy birthday bud!

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#25 Robitaille
May 06 2013, 11:21AM
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Grew up outside Boston and have gone to many games. Bruins are the team that I follow the most. There are definitely a few fans that will ruin it for all. Don't think about Boston as being a bad city.

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#26 Perk
May 06 2013, 11:24AM
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Another diehard Bruins here and I'd also like to apologize to Kyle for the ahole idiot's (not Bruins Fan) senseless actions. Real Bruins fans do not tolorate malcontents who think it's OK to take their aggravation out on opposings fans simply because their team lost. The Leafs made the Bruins pay for underestimating them and they were out skated, out hit and out scored. I hope the Leafs fans continue to visit the Gahden and I hope the coward and perpetrator of this violence gets caught and is severely punished!

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#27 lori
May 06 2013, 11:41AM
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Feel bad for what happened to kyle..its ridiculous ..if he is truely concussed he wont be able to handle the noice level in a arena so tickets wont help his recovery...speaking from experience ..heal quickly.. ..

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#28 Steve
May 06 2013, 12:10PM
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@craig maxwell

Saying one degenerate Bruins fan tarnished the entire "Boston Strong" image may be one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. Ask the victims if they feel the same.

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#29 Mac
May 06 2013, 12:17PM
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I was seated no more than 20 feet from these gentlemen. They dressed to the 9s in all Toronto garb and were chirping throughout the game. The Bs fans around me were relentless in their prodding of this group, but to say there was no give-and-take is a lie.

People will try to say "that's no excuse for violence" and they're perfectly correct in saying so. However, if you show up to a playoff hockey game & don't back down when taunted by the home team these things happen. It's the sad reality. It happens in Boston, it happens in Pittsburgh, it happens in New York....It's universal so please no more 'holier than thou' posts.

But I digress. In summation, I didn't see the KO punch so I don't know if it was a cheap shot or who threw the first blow...all I can attest to is the man was dressed and acted provocatively in an arena that doesn't take kindly to it.

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#30 whichonespink
May 06 2013, 12:32PM
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Unreal wrote:

I agree with what @UnknownComic is saying. I always hear stories like this coming out of Boston in general. Now I think the fuel into the fire for this situation was when the Bruins fans rallying point "Thank you Kessel." was ironically voided that night by a game winning goal coming from his stick, which may have pushed a few more than likely drunk fans over the edge. But it just seems like Boston sports fans get pushed over that edge a little bit easier than most other places.

Maybe it was the hundred or so yrs between World Series Wins, that is to blame.

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#31 whichonespink
May 06 2013, 12:43PM
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Mac wrote:

I was seated no more than 20 feet from these gentlemen. They dressed to the 9s in all Toronto garb and were chirping throughout the game. The Bs fans around me were relentless in their prodding of this group, but to say there was no give-and-take is a lie.

People will try to say "that's no excuse for violence" and they're perfectly correct in saying so. However, if you show up to a playoff hockey game & don't back down when taunted by the home team these things happen. It's the sad reality. It happens in Boston, it happens in Pittsburgh, it happens in New York....It's universal so please no more 'holier than thou' posts.

But I digress. In summation, I didn't see the KO punch so I don't know if it was a cheap shot or who threw the first blow...all I can attest to is the man was dressed and acted provocatively in an arena that doesn't take kindly to it.

You sound like Bill O'reilly on Fox. When commenting on a young woman getting raped in New York. I'm paraphrasing, she shouldn't have been walking alone at night in that part of town dressed the way she was.

Grow up, if someone is being an asshat the proper response isn't to hit and then run away. We can be self righteous, because much less of that crap happens in Canadian cities......Well maybe not Vancouver, they have the odd small riot. There is a story on Huffpo about a soccer ref who died from one punch to the head from an angry player. That is the kind of thing that could have happened here. As it was, it was a vicious enough punch to send him to hospital. The cat scan is for people that are ill or have been in accidents, not because someone got their feelings hurt and decided to get violent, there is no excuse for this, and I would hope no Leaf fan would act this way, we're a little calmer and a little thicker skinned up here, but we do have our share of asshats!

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#32 SD
May 06 2013, 12:49PM
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Mac wrote:

I was seated no more than 20 feet from these gentlemen. They dressed to the 9s in all Toronto garb and were chirping throughout the game. The Bs fans around me were relentless in their prodding of this group, but to say there was no give-and-take is a lie.

People will try to say "that's no excuse for violence" and they're perfectly correct in saying so. However, if you show up to a playoff hockey game & don't back down when taunted by the home team these things happen. It's the sad reality. It happens in Boston, it happens in Pittsburgh, it happens in New York....It's universal so please no more 'holier than thou' posts.

But I digress. In summation, I didn't see the KO punch so I don't know if it was a cheap shot or who threw the first blow...all I can attest to is the man was dressed and acted provocatively in an arena that doesn't take kindly to it.

If they were "chirping" so rudely during the game, ie swearing, threatening other fans, than they would have been escorted out. Giving it back to bruins fans heckling them doesn't justify physical assault.

Can you blame the guy(s) for being excited about seeing their first leafs playoff victory in almost a decade? and having made a road trip for it always adds to the memories.

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#33 Dergree
May 06 2013, 01:04PM
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I was also at the game, with wife and 11-year old daughter, all dressed in Maple Leafs sweaters. 99% of the fans were respectful, we only stood for a quick applause for the goals. We also gave a standing ovation to the gentleman who lost both his legs to the bombing and for the US Marine special guest. A fan also bought me a beer for any negativity his fellow fans may have done to us. We talked it up with fans around us and while on the concourse. There were a few Bruins fans getting out of line with swearing and telling us to go back to Canada (while wearing a Lucic or Bergeron jersey), but you just ignore it or smile as you are in their building. I just hope Leafs fans will in turn be respectful to any Bruins fans as they could be a local or a visitor to our city

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#34 GL
May 06 2013, 01:07PM
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@Mac

Mac, you are justifying the act of violence. We all understand that there was a danger to wearing full Leaf Garb in Boston that night, in that some knuckle-heads may start something, but this kind of attack takes it way past anything that could be justified. You should never have to fear for your well-being when rooting for a hockey team during a game! Come on Mac - surely you can see this.

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#35 Ray
May 06 2013, 02:04PM
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Mac wrote:

I was seated no more than 20 feet from these gentlemen. They dressed to the 9s in all Toronto garb and were chirping throughout the game. The Bs fans around me were relentless in their prodding of this group, but to say there was no give-and-take is a lie.

People will try to say "that's no excuse for violence" and they're perfectly correct in saying so. However, if you show up to a playoff hockey game & don't back down when taunted by the home team these things happen. It's the sad reality. It happens in Boston, it happens in Pittsburgh, it happens in New York....It's universal so please no more 'holier than thou' posts.

But I digress. In summation, I didn't see the KO punch so I don't know if it was a cheap shot or who threw the first blow...all I can attest to is the man was dressed and acted provocatively in an arena that doesn't take kindly to it.

That's a pretty ballsy thing for a Boston fan to say. Am I allowed to beat up the dozens of Red Sox fans who think they can come to Blue Jays games and act like louts?

What happened to Kyle is inexcusable and indicative of many (but definitely not most) experiences I've had with Boston fans in the past. Bell Centre can be a violent place to watch a game as well, but there the violence comes from passion, not common criminality. Way to cover yourself in glory, Boston.

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#36 Brett Smith
May 06 2013, 03:07PM
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That is very inexcusable on the part of that Bruins "fan". Sorry that Kyle was injured by some douche bag. It is not reflective of the vast majority of Bruins fans to act that way. Yeah we might engage in some banter with opposing fans, but it is mostly in a joking/friendly manner. Hope Kyle heals up quickly.

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#37 jasken
May 06 2013, 03:28PM
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I hope Kyle gets back to his usual self soon wish him all the best.

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#38 Tim McCormack
May 06 2013, 03:55PM
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I'm a Bruins fan and I apologize to Kyle for what this idiot did. It seems a lot of people think we are all bad in Boston , well we are not. Every city has people that go to far. I was in Montreal this weekend at a bar during the game Bruins fans on one side Toronto fans on the other. A lot of good ribbing going on , it was a great time. We ( the Boston fans) even gave one of them (the Toronto fans) a ride back to his hotel. A good time was had by all. Please don't lump all Bruins fans in with a small group of idiots.

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#39 TruNorthStrongFree
May 06 2013, 04:38PM
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Get used to it - Bruins fans are nasty and it's not even to the HEAT of the series yet.

In 2011 When Mason Raymond's back was broken 20 seconds into Game 6 by Johnny Boychuk, the entire TD Gardens chanted "FLOPPER FLOPPER" as he lay on the ice unable to move.

Google stories about the Canucks Bruins Finals - Fans were PISSED on in the washrooms.

Boston is an amazing city but by far the absolute #1 WORST fans in the entire league

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#40 HabsFanFromBoston
May 06 2013, 04:42PM
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I think the BEST thing that could happen - knowing there's going to be a game 5 in Boston, no matter what.

How about an all-expense paid trip to Boston for Kyle and a friend - and a seat in the owner's box, or VIP seats?

I think the Bruins' ownership can afford it... it would probably be the best gesture they could make.

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#41 Cam Charron
May 06 2013, 07:30PM
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HabsFanFromBoston wrote:

I think the BEST thing that could happen - knowing there's going to be a game 5 in Boston, no matter what.

How about an all-expense paid trip to Boston for Kyle and a friend - and a seat in the owner's box, or VIP seats?

I think the Bruins' ownership can afford it... it would probably be the best gesture they could make.

A better gift from the Bruins organization would be to not sit and watch a game with Jeremy Jacobs.

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#42 BostonBill
May 07 2013, 07:27AM
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Just like any other city there are a fair amount of douchebags that go to games and probably can't even name more than 5 guys on the roster, they go to drink and cause trouble. As a Boston fan, one who enjoys banter and meeting people from other cities, I would like to apologize. The people and the sports fans of Boston have been given great accolades since the events of April 15, and Boston Strong exemplifies how MOST people in Boston are. If you look at the video this poor guy is surrounded by Bruins fans trying to help him. One bad apple will not ruin the bunch here, whoever did this should be hunted down via one of the many security cameras in the Garden and charged to the fullest extent of the law. We are all hockey fans, lets not be soccer hooligans!

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#43 Nick
May 07 2013, 07:36AM
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As a bruins fan this is a disgrace and i feel bad for this kid. But honestly people stop putting all boston fans into one group because of one insecure moron, we are not all like that. and hey at least were not as bad as the canadiens fans, right? lol

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#44 nick
May 07 2013, 07:40AM
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@Ray

no montreal fans just call the cops for a hockey hit. dont lump all boston fans into a group of disrespectful morons, we are not all like that trust me

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#45 nick
May 07 2013, 07:44AM
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@Mac

and mac dude doesnt matter let them chirp doesnt mean that someone needs to get knocked out for talking smack it happens, now if they start coming at you and threatening to kick your ass then you knock the out

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#46 Nillara
May 07 2013, 10:07AM
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We don't behave like that down at Verizon Center, because we aren't a pack of mouth breathing dullards. Sorry that happened to you, man.

Go Caps!

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#47 SD
May 07 2013, 10:13AM
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Nillara wrote:

We don't behave like that down at Verizon Center, because we aren't a pack of mouth breathing dullards. Sorry that happened to you, man.

Go Caps!

right! face it there are Dbags everywhere and it can happen anywhere: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJAp5QCQiZQ

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#48 Chris
May 07 2013, 06:23PM
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As a life long Boston fan and former resident, I deeply apologize for this brutal attack. We do have nasty punks here, and it is a source of great shame to the rest of us. I had a friend suffer a bad head injury when hit with a trash can while leaving an event in the same venue. I hope Kyle recovers quickly and suffers no long term effects.

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#49 David
May 07 2013, 08:03PM
Trash it!
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props

I'm a Bruins fan and I'm disappointed in fans like this, I hope Kyle makes a full recovery and gets everything paid for!

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#50 MS
May 07 2013, 09:49PM
Trash it!
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+1
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props

Man, gives me a sickening feeling, being a Bruins fan reading about this.

Best wishes to the victim. It's a shame the scumbag who assaulted him didn't end up in a cell, where he belongs.

What is it about some people in this country? You hear about this sort of thing happening far too often. Funny how you never hear about sports fan thuggery of this sort happening in Canada. Some of us in the USA could learn a thing or two about decency from you guys.

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