In an e-mail to and subsequent phone interview with the Star Tribune on Sunday, former Gophers winger Tyler Hirsch accused the Wild of "misrepresenting the truth" and being "unethical" after the team announced last week that he signed a contract with the Houston Aeros, its American Hockey League affiliate.
On Thursday, the Aeros issued a news release that was still on their website Sunday, saying, "Hirsch signed a contract with the team and has been assigned to the Aeros' ECHL affiliate, Texas Wildcatters."
According to Hirsch on Sunday, "I have neither verbally committed to or signed anything resembling a contract with the Minnesota Wild or their minor-league affiliates. I have never laid eyes on a would-be contract and am currently a free agent."
Reached Sunday, Wild assistant general manager Tom Lynn, who doubles as Houston's GM, said the Aeros wouldn't have issued the news release if they didn't feel Hirsch, a Bloomington native, agreed to a contract.
"One of our policies is honesty," Lynn said. "I told you last night [with the James Sheppard paperwork error] that I made a mistake and I admitted it. But I don't think there's much of an issue here."
But Hirsch, 23, said Sunday that Lynn "is misrepresenting the truth. I think it's unethical."
In his e-mail, Hirsch, who was dismissed from the Gophers hockey team in December, stated, "I have historically ignored false media regarding myself. I do not intend to continue to do so as it has been damaging to my reputation as a person and hockey career. I ... cannot accept these manipulations of truth to continually be publicly printed about myself. I will personally address those in my communicative circle that may have had anything to do with this misconception."
During a phone conversation, Hirsch didn't want to address his hockey future.
"Something with [the Wild] down the road may come into fruition, but as of right now, I'm not happy with what transpired the last couple days," Hirsch said.
Lynn made it clear the Wild intends to part with Hirsch.
"I think there are bigger issues for both of us to focus on," Lynn said, "so I wish him luck."