Canadian captain Ryan Getzlaf was flabbergasted after being linked to an incident at a Helsinki bar by Finnish media outlets.
MTV3, the host broadcaster at the IIHF World Hockey Championship, reported that Getzlaf, Corey Perry and a couple other teammates were involved in an argument at a nightclub following a 5-4 overtime loss to the United States on Saturday night. Other news outlets ran with the story as well.
But Getzlaf said the reports were filled with inaccuracies.
“Where that story came from, I don't know,” he said after a 7-2 victory over France on Monday. “It was way out of proportion. Way, way overblown. It was nothing like what was reported.”
He acknowledged that the players were at the Circus bar for a couple drinks and got approached by a local.
“Somebody tried to start an argument at the door. I said ‘No! No! No!“’ Getzlaf explained. “It wasn't much more than that. There were never any punches thrown. Nothing, no incident.”
Finnish media outlets have written other stories about players at the tournament going out on the town, including one about the American team.
The Canadian players haven't been given a curfew for the event — “We're grown men,” said Getzlaf — but will certainly be more careful after this incident. The team has played three round robin games and will spend another two weeks in Helsinki if it advances to the medal round.
“We addressed it with the guys when we heard about this,” said Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada's vice-president of hockey operations. “We just talked about the importance of preparation and (the fact) there's a lot of games in a short period of time coming up.
“I'd like to think it's behind us.”
As far as coach Brent Sutter was concerned, the performance Getzlaf and Perry had against France put the whole thing to bed.
“There's nothing to it,” said Sutter. “They were ready to play today like the professionals they are. They were both solid today.”