The National Hockey League condemned “misogynistic and reprehensible remarks” made by Washington Capitals forward Brendan Leipsic and Florida Panthers forward Jack Rodewald in an Instagram group chat that were leaked on Twitter and Reddit on Wednesday.
Among the remarks made by the two players, they commented on the appearances of the wife of Vancouver Canucks forward Tanner Pearson and the girlfriend of Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid, and also made sexual remarks about other women.
“There is no place in our League for such statements, attitudes and behavior, no matter the forum,” the NHL said in its statement. “We will address this inexcusable conduct with the clubs and players involved.”
In one of his comments, made in response to a photo posted by the Canucks that featured Pearson greeting his young son and his wife, Meaghan Pearson, Leipsic insulted the appearance of Pearson’s wife.
Leipsic also made comments about the appearance of McDavid’s girlfriend, Lauren Kyle, in a Halloween photo, as well as sexual comments and criticism of the appearances of other women. He also commented on a photo of Capitals linemates Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway hosting their podcast — on which Leipsic has not appeared as a guest — writing, “F— they’re losers.”
Leipsic, who deleted his Instagram account Wednesday, later issued an apology on Twitter.
“Yesterday my friend’s Instagram account was hacked and an individual circulated images that are representative of private conversations I was a part of,” Leipsic wrote. “I fully recognize how inappropriate and offensive these comments are and sincerely apologize to everyone for my actions. I am committed to learning from this and becoming a better person by taking time to determine how to move forward in an accountable, meaningful way. I am truly sorry.”
The Capitals issued a statement earlier Wednesday and called Leipsic’s comments “unacceptable.”
“We are aware of the unacceptable and offensive comments made by Brendan Leipsic in a private conversation on social media,” a team spokesperson said. “We will handle this matter internally.”
Leipsic, 25, played 61 games with the Capitals this season, his fourth in a well-traveled NHL career. Drafted by Nashville in 2012, he made his debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015-16. After being selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 expansion draft, Leipsic was traded to Vancouver in February 2018, then claimed on waivers by the Los Angeles Kings in December 2018, before signing as a free agent with Washington last July.
Rodewald, 26, has 10 games of NHL experience and played with the AHL Springfield Thunderbirds last season.