TORONTO, Ont. – Air Canada has threatened to withdraw its sponsorship from the NHL unless its cleans up its act over headshots.
The NHL confirmed it received a letter from the airline.
Reports said Air Canada is very concerned about associating its brand name to a sport where players are getting seriously hurt, and worries there will eventually be a fatality.
This comes in the aftermath of a hit on Montreal Canadiens Max Pacioretty that sent him to hospital with a broken neck and severe concussion.
680News took to the streets to find out what fans think. Outside the Air Canada Centre, a hockey fan named Jim agreed with that sentiment.
“If they let this slide, then the kids of the hockey future will think it is ok to bully around the smaller players, and it’s not right,” he said.
A hockey fan from Woodbridge, Ont., told Sportsnet Radio FAN 590 he is dealing with the fallout of one of these hits first-hand.
“From the father of a son who plays peewee Triple-A hockey, who just got taken off a stretcher on Saturday from a vicious hit from behind, head first into the boards, and ends up in emergency, this whole discussion is appalling,” he said.
Air Canada not only owns the naming rights to the arena in Toronto, but it’s also a big backer of all six Canadian teams.