Gophers, WCHA respond to Mike Milbury's 'bubble' comments

The NBC commentator likened playing in an empty arena to a women's college hockey game.
Mike Milbury

NBC commentator Mike Milbury found himself in hot water over the weekend after making a comparison to the NHL's 'bubble' format of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and women's hockey.

During the second period of a qualifying round matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, Milbury likened the empty arena format to a beer league or women's hockey game where players generate their own enthusiasm.

"Where ever the game is played...if it's beer league it doesn't matter. You don't need fans to get those guys hung up on stuff," Milbury said between the action. "If you go to a college women's game sometimes, there's no shortage of organic joy when you see a play and these guys have gotten through that."

The comparison between women's college hockey and beer league games drew a response on Twitter including the Gophers, who have won seven national championships while drawing 2,045 fans per game last season per

The WCHA followed suit by showing some pictures of their own full arenas including Wisconsin, who led the nation with 3,136 fans per game and 138 percent capacity.

While women's college hockey programs took exception on Twitter, so did fans of other forms of women's hockey including Olympic squads, which set records in Anaheim and Detroit earlier this year during a rivalry series between the USA and Canadian national teams.

Controversial remarks is not something new for Milbury, who told players to "hit them with your purse," and called a 2018 domestic violence charge against Slava Voynov "an unfortunate incident." NBC has not made a statement about his most recent comments.

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