NBC Falls For Silly NHL Pizza Party Hoax (UPDATE)

Both MSNBC and NBC Chicago got suckered in by an obviously fake story about members of the Canucks being fined for planning a pizzeria crawl of Chicago's deep dish establishments, and reported it as fact.

It started when Hockey Independent ran what was clearly a joke story about Kyle Wellwood and Shane O'Brien being disciplined for organizing a "pizza crawl," as they head to Chicago for their second round matchup. As the story goes, they accidentally invited the entire NHLPA Facebook group. Here's the accompanying "screen shot."

NBC Falls For Silly NHL Pizza Party Hoax (UPDATE)

Now, Hockey Independent does legitimate stuff as well as the occasional humor piece, even though this post was clearly tagged "satire." But NBC Chicago took it and ran with it, reporting the "players' Facebook messages" as actual quotes.

Perhaps the best line from the NBC piece is this one: "The Canucks' press office could not immediately confirm the report, but the Independent published a screen cap of the invite."

The story appears to be gone from NBC Chicago, but it was picked up by MSNBC.com, and there it remains, nearly a week later. Here's a screengrab (a real one this time) in case it gets taken down:

NBC Falls For Silly NHL Pizza Party Hoax (UPDATE)

[UPDATE: MSNBC took it down. It'll live on forever here, though!]

Canucks Wellwood & O'Brien Fined For Planning Deep Dish Pizza Crawl [Hockey Independent]
Canucks Players Plan Chicago Pizza Crawl, Get Fined [MSNBC]