Former city councillor and federal Liberal candidate Todd Lever was ejected from the McIntyre Arena by police officers on Saturday night after causing a commotion and refusing demands from referees and event security to settle down.
During the game between the Timmins Rock and the Powassan Voodoos, Lever began heckling the visiting team from his seat behind their bench. He then left his seat and climbed on the glass of the Powassan bench to look down on the players inside while continuing to heckle them. He also climbed up on the glass of a penalty box.
After being told to settle down by game referees and others, event security were sent down to speak with Lever apparently to convince him to leave the game.
When he wouldn’t leave, members of the Timmins Police Service were called in to deal with him. A tussle ensued as they tried to remove him from his chair and some people in the crowd of more than 1,000 people inside the arena began to sing “nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye.”
The game was part of the Hometown Hockey Tour and was being filmed by a television crew for national broadcast.
The Timmins Police were not able to confirm on Sunday whether or not charges will be laid over the incident.
Lever posted an apology for what happened on his Facebook page hours after the incident. The statement was contrite at the beginning but became more aggressive as it went on.
“First and foremost, I want to apologize to Mario Pittui – the linesman for putting him in a difficult position. Mario is a stand-up guy – I actually cheered when they announced his name,” wrote Lever.
“When the Timmins Police arrived they have been told that Todd Lever was causing a disturbance. Mike Pintar and Jean Belliveau asked me to leave many, many times as did the first usher. Then my dad showed up and asked me the same thing.”
As to what caused him to act the way he did, Lever said it was a few things.
“I was admittedly fired up at the game and was trying to get the team fired up and prodding the Powassan Voodoos,” he wrote. “I was upset with Paul Gagne who had them playing like the Timmins Zombies, not the Timmins Rock.
“I was also more than a little upset that Steve Sullivan and Frank Mahovlich had been honoured, but my uncle, Don Lever, wasn’t even asked to come to the game.”
Mahovlivh’s Toronto Maple Leafs banner was one of the two raised at the McIntyre Arena as the culmination of the Hometown Hockey event.
He went on to say how his uncle was a much better player than Mahovlich, and also had some criticism for broadcaster Ron MacLean who was in Timmins as part of the event.
“Hey Ron MacLean, here’s a tip: Schumacher is pronounced SHOO-MACK-ER, not SHOE-MAW-KER.”
Attempts to contact Lever for comment on Sunday were not successful.