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Canadian Junior Hockey Team Sues University of Michigan Newspaper, Reporter Over Bribery Accusations

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The Michigan Daily, Michigan University's student-run daily newspaper, and one of its reporters have been sued for writing and publishing an article claiming that the Kitchener Rangers — an elite junior hockey team in Canada — offered a player $200,000 to play with them.

The article reported that 18-year-old Jacob Trouba, who publicly stated he would be attending the University of Michigan, had defaulted on his original commitment and was now "50/50."

Trouba is currently the ninth pick in this year's NHL Entry Draft. The Dailyalleged an anonymous source said the Rangers offerred Trouba $200,000 in place of an education package, and that he was likely to take it.

The Kitchener Rangers have not taken kindly to the allegations. Rangers chief operating officer Steve Bienkowski told the Guelph Mercury that the newspaper better back up their accusations or retract them, and has served them papers for a possible libel lawsuit.

"Our intent is that we will file a statement of claim for damages," said Bienkowski.

"We present our audited financial statements every year. We don't have subsidiary companies or other businesses," he later added, emphasizing that hiding such a transaction wouldn't be possible.

Kitchener has been accused of buying out players in the past, like when Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson said they tried to sign current NHL player Cam Fowler for $500,000. Fowler's family denied the allegations, but ended up canceling meetings with the Rangers.

"By people out there saying whatever the hell they want, with not having to back it up and hiding behind sources, that damaged us,” said Bienkowski.

Editors of the Daily have not returned a request for comment from The Huffington Post. The paper has since updated the article to reflect the confirmation that Trouba will be joining Michigan as promised.

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