The NHL and the Carolina Hurricanes deny that they pressured a private airline company to fire a former campaign staffer for President Donald Trump.
Dawson Buchanan, a travel coordinator for Trump's reelection campaign, claimed in a Twitter thread on Tuesday that he was fired by Private Jet Services when "the NHL found out I worked for the Trump campaign and threatened to cancel the contract with PJS unless they fired me."
Buchanan said he was going to be a travel concierge with the Carolina Hurricanes, a client of Private Jet Services.
"Instead of standing up for me, instead of explaining to the NHL that I, as a person, am not solely defined by my previous work on the Trump campaign, they fired me for their own company's financial gain," said Buchanan, who had used his social media to support overturning the 2020 presidential election results and said he attended the Jan. 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol.
When asked about Buchanan's allegations, an NHL spokesperson told ESPN that they were "categorically untrue" and that "until this news broke, we had never heard of him."
"The Carolina Hurricanes rely on PJS to hire staff for our air travel," the team said in a statement. "Until Mr. Buchanan's social media posts Tuesday night, the Hurricanes knew nothing about him. We will not be commenting further."
According to an executive at Private Jet Services, "Mr. Buchanan was never an employee of our company, ever, at any time" and "the story was a complete fabrication."
The executive confirmed that the company had worked with Buchanan when he was an operations associate for Trump campaign headquarters and had explored the possibility of hiring him as a plane concierge. But he said that the training for such a position is monthslong and thus the timeline wouldn't have worked out to bring Buchanan on for the start of the season.
In an email to ESPN, Buchanan provided images of what he claimed was a PJS-issued laptop and text message correspondence with the company that included plans for his work with the Hurricanes.
Buchanan claims that Private Jet Services CEO Greg Raiff indicated that a former employee of the company, who worked with the Hurricanes last season, "sent a screenshot of my LinkedIn to the team, and then the team subsequently reached out to [Raiff] requesting my dismissal from the company." Buchanan also claims that Raiff called him after the Twitter thread to say he would "completely deny the entire allegation, regardless of its legitimacy."
Buchanan said that further evidence of his employment with the company was made unavailable when he was locked out of his corporate email account.