WHL notes: Canadian reporter accused of threats

  • By Nick Patterson Herald writer
  • Monday, January 27, 2014 5:08pm
  • SportsSports

A Canadian reporter who’s accused of making death threats to a Tri-City Americans player was formally charged Friday.

The Tri-City Herald reported that Tieja MacLaughlin, 25, a freelance sports reporter in Kelowna, B.C., was charged in Benton County Superior Court with one count of felony harassment with domestic violence stemming from incidents involving her boyfriend, Tri-City forward Jackson Playfair, which led to her arrest on Jan. 19.

MacLaughlin pleaded not guilty to the charge. She was released from the Benton County jail in Kennewick on Friday after family members posted her $10,000 bail. Judge Vic VanderSchoor ordered MacLaughlin to surrender her passport and remain in the U.S. until the case is resolved. Her trial was set for March 10.

Court documents said MacLaughlin and Playfair, 19, began dating in July. Playfair, who was traded by the Spokane Chiefs to Tri-City on Jan. 10, told Kennewick police it was a “rocky” relationship.

The documents said the couple had a heated phone conversation on Jan. 18, during which Playfair admitted cheating on MacLaughlin with another woman while in Spokane. MacLaughlin became upset and made threats toward Playfair, saying “he would be dead by the end of the night.”

MacLaughlin drove from Paris, Ontario, to Kennewick for a planned visit. MacLaughlin stayed in a hotel for the night, but continued to contact Playfair, prompting Playfair to call the police. Officers contacted MacLaughlin and she agreed to stop contacting Playfair. However, MacLaughlin continued to send Playfair text messages. MacLaughlin was arrested the next day.

MacLaughlin has denied making the threats.

Around the WHL

Former Saskatoon Blades co-owner Jack Brodsky was the recipient of the 2013-14 WHL Governors Award. The award is presented annually to an individual for outstanding achievements and service to the league. Brodsky and his family owned the Blades for 37 years before selling in 2013. … The Portland Winterhawks received another commitment from a prominent American prospect when 16-year-old defenseman Nick Heid signed a WHL education contract with the team. … Portland’s Brendan Leipsic was named the WHL Player of the Week. The 19-year-old forward had three goals and six assists as the Winterhawks went 3-0.

League leaders

Points — Mitch Holmberg (Spokane) 85; goals — Holmberg 43; assists — Nicolas Petan (Portland) 55; penalty minutes — Ryan Rehill (Kamloops) 139; wins — Tristan Jarry (Edmonton) 30; goals against average — Coleman Vollrath (Victoria) 1.92; save percentage — Vollrath .942.

Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at @NickHPatterson.

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