NHL Exec Tries to Stop Online Chatter

     VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – A former top executive with the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team sued 18 anonymous defendants for posting allegations online that he had a sexual relationship with a sports broadcaster and fathered her child.
     Brian Burke sued the John Doe defendants by their online names, in British Columbia Supreme Court.
     He claims they defamed him on Internet message boards, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages, by claiming he fathered a child with Rogers Sportsnet reporter Hazel Mae, which got him fired from the Maple Leafs.
     “The plaintiff has a well-established professional reputation throughout Canada and the United States, as a general manager and executive of professional hockey teams, including the Vancouver Canucks, the Anaheim Ducks and the Toronto Maple Leafs, and as executive with the National Hockey League,” the complaint states. “In publishing the defamatory statements, the defendants were motivated by actual and express malice, and had the intention of damaging the plaintiff’s reputation.”
     Burke, now with the Anaheim Ducks, seeks an injunction and punitive for defamation.
     He is represented by Peter Gall with Heenan Blaikie in Vancouver.

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