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Northern Ontario politician issues apology to Troy Crowder for 'silly' fight stunt

As far as political attacks go, this is a weird one
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Sudbury MPP and Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault tweeted an apology to Sudbury PC candidate Troy Crowder this morning for what he called a "silly stunt" on a Liberal website.

This week, a provincial Liberal website apparently accused Patrick Brown of misleading people when the Progressive Conservative leader claimed recently Crowder, a former NHL enforcer, fought and won a battle with famed late NHL heavyweight Bob Probert in his rookie season. Brown made the comment Tuesday during a speech at Macdonald-Cartier Club in London.

But the website, FactsStillMatter.ca, which is run by the Liberal caucus, apparently disagreed with Brown's assessment of the Crowder-Probert battles.

The site posted a rather strange response to Brown's statement of Crowder's fighting prowess. 

“Fact: Troy Crowder did not fight Bob Probert in his rookie year. It's also debatable who won when they did fight,” according to a post from the site – which apparently has been removed, but was retweeted by Toronto radio journalist Siobhan Morris.

Here's another fact: Fact-checking the Liberal claim in the age of the internet is as easy as a Google search.

Administrators of the Liberal site didn't return a message from Sudbury.com seeking come clarity. Crowder, however, issued a news release to address the issue.

“Frankly, it’s disappointing that with skyrocketing hydro rates, a slumping Northern economy and countless scandals that are making life harder for Ontario families, (Premier) Kathleen Wynne’s team is spending their time talking about my NHL record from 27 years ago,” the statement said. “But since they’ve done that, let’s set the record straight. 

“Yes, I fought Bob Probert three times in my rookie season. He’s the toughest player to ever play the game and it was an honour to play with and against him. May he rest in peace. When my teammates were attacked, I’d stand up for them.”

Thibeault took Crowder's side in the dispute, tweeting an apology to the enforcer-turned-inventor-turned-politician this morning.

"I want to apologize to @TroyCrowder for a silly stunt on a liberal website. I didn't review before it went out but take full responsibility for it," Thibeault tweeted. "In nearly 10 years in politics, I've always played fair. Facts Still Matter in Ontario, and the fact is Troy had a great NHL career."

Probert passed away in July 2010, collapsing on a boat due to a serious heart ailment. Replays of the three fights Crowder and Probert had in his rookie season are available on YouTube. Crowder played for the New Jersey Devils, while Probert was a Detroit Red Wing. 

But in case you need more proof, here's their first fight, from Oct. 4, 1990.

The provincial election is slated to take place June 7, 2018.



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