NHL / ottawa senators
The tire fire in Ottawa Continues: Uber video shows players ripping coach!
The Ottawa Senators were thrust back into the media spotlight Sunday night when a scathing video of some team members was released to the media. The video was recorded as the players were driving back to their hotel room in an Uber after an evening out while on the road in Arizona. The video has now become viral and the team and city have been reeling from the impact of the conversation being had and the comments made by the players in the video. The video has thrown gas on a fire that team management has been trying to put out since last season. Source I don't want to regurgitate the story here because it is all over the internet, but to give context to the rest of the post I will give you the coles notes version. Basically, 7 members of the Ottawa Senators were driving home in an Uber and having a very candid conversation about what they felt were some of the issues the team was having on the ice. The players included Thomas Chabot, Dylan DeMelo, Matt Duchene, Alex Formenton, Chris Tierney, Chris Wideman, and Colin White. The discussion was about how their penalty kill(PK) was doing very poorly and they were pointing the finger directly at the assistant coach in charge of the PK, Marty Raymond. Source The players mocked the coach's methods and mocked the lack of success on special teams under his coaching. You can find a great deal of specific information in the following article by the Ottawa Sun. This was huge news here in Ottawa where fans have been dealing with one mess after another when it comes to internal issues with the team. Since last season, the Senators have been front and center in the media for what can only be described as internal dysfunction. Last year there were accusations of misconduct between players significant other which led to trades and in fact, the issue had been festering all season and likely contributed to the poor play of the team. Fans have been in an ongoing battle with owner Eugene Melnyk who many people wish would just sell the team and go away for comments he has made over the years about moving the team and budget issues. Fans blame him for the trading of star defenceman Erik Karlsson. Source Last season ended in depressing fashion for the team and its fans. Fans felt like they didn't know the team's direction and the future was very unclear. The team is currently in a full-on rebuild and although fans are coming to terms with that, they are still feeling the sting of a lot of things that have plagued them over the past year or two. The rebuild has bee a success to date and the team is playing with a level of enthusiasm and energy that has the city starting to get excited about their team again. When the video came out Sunday night, the fans venom spilled out as all that anger came rushing back. How could this happen to them again? Source The reaction to the Uber video was very heated. Monday morning on the Team 1200 Ottawa, radios talk show, fans called in with very angry opinions about what happened. People were furious that players would be ripping the team in such ways and that such a huge amount of disrespect was being shown for the coach. There were 7 people in that vehicle but the majority of the claws were directed at one player. Matt Duchesne. Fans immediately were calling for his "A" to be taken away, saying that he does not deserve to be a leader on this team after those comments. One fan even called into the station to say that he thought Duchesne was "A pile of garbage who the Sens shouldn't resign". Source Duchesne and his contract are a hot topic here in Ottawa and fans eagerly wait to find out if the team will be able to resign the star forward who they gave up so much for last fall. Fans and management are looking to him to step up and be a leader on this team and his comments in the Uber are not those of a leader. Saying that he hasn't paid attention to a meeting with that coach in 3 weeks is a statement that did not sit well with fans and media here in Ottawa. How can this guy be a leader if this is what he is openly saying to his teammates? Teammates who are all young players who need someone to step up and show them the way to be a professional. Source There is a huge lesson here for the players involved in this incident. You are always being watched! The video being released by the Uber driver is a huge breach of privacy but at the end of the day, this is the world that we live in today. At any time, anything you say or do could be recorded and potentially used against you. The players issued a blanket statement of apology to the coach and the fans for their actions and with the big win last night over the New Jersey Devils there is now talk among fans of how this could be a galvanizing moment that brings the team together and ignites a surge to the playoffs. I personally feel bad for these guys getting exposed like this. I can think of so many times where I have been sitting around with co-workers and we were discussing some of the issues we had with our boss. It would be horrible for that to get out and then used against me or them in the media. The comments were certainly hurtful for the team and embarrassing for the coach. One of the biggest questions from fans was why the players didn't address the issue in-house. It should be something that the payers discussed with coaches if they were having an issue. The unfortunate reality is that if you are a pro athlete and in the public eye, you need to be UBER careful about how you conduct yourself at all times. Pun intended.
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