2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Jake DeBrusk, family dealt with death threats during Maple Leafs series

(Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Jake DeBrusk knew that the chirps, jeers and expected *ahem* pleasantries were heading his way.

Acknowledging his status as “public enemy No. 1” up in Toronto ahead of Game 3 of Boston’s opening-round matchup against the Maple Leafs — the 22-year-old winger was in line for a frosty reception north of the border.

After battling with Leafs pivot Nazem Kadri for most of the first two games of the series, DeBrusk was dropped to the ice in the third period of Game 2 thanks to a foolish (and dangerous) cross-check from Kadri. The infraction led to a series-long suspension for Kadri — putting DeBrusk in the crosshairs of Toronto’s fan base.

DeBrusk was fine with the less-than-welcoming reception he received when he skated out on the ice at Scotiabank Arena. It’s part of the gig, after all. But what he wasn’t expecting were the multiple death threats and other sordid messages that started to sprout up on his phone.