The Ottawa Senators are a “Team.” Those were the inspiring words of optimism leaped upon them by their GM to begin this upcoming season. One in which everyone knew they would be trapped near the bottom of the league. They’re a small market team, with an owner who sets an internal budget, in need of a new arena, and fresh off of a roster tear down for a rebuild.
At least they were. I’m not so sure you can even call them a team anymore in the figurative sense. The Sens were off to a slow start at 5-6-3. They’re currently dead last in the league in goals against at 59, second to last in Penalty Killing, bottom of the league in shots against and shots for.
During a recent west coast swing to Phoenix a few players (Thomas Chabot, Dylan DeMelo, Matt Duchene, Alex Formenton, Chris Tierney, Chris Wideman, and Colin White) took an Uber ride and were unknowingly recorded by the driver. That tape made its way to the internet as most do and here it is courtesy of the Ottawa Citizen.
YIKES… Where do we start? First of all let’s get this out of the way. Recording these guys who thought they were having a private conversation venting about a frustrating season in a highly competitive and scrutinized profession is a real low life bottom feeding trash bag move. I refuse to pile on the players too much here because Ottawa has a reputation of being a joke of an organization as is, so to be honest not much of what they’re saying surprised me. However I will have a word of advice for them and you as well later in this.
What was said:
“Marty Raymond, the only coach in NHL history to have the worst power-play and the worst PK within a calendar year” – Matt Duchene – Mary Raymond is the assistant coach who runs the PK/PP and video for the team.
“Do you notice that when (Raymond) runs the video, if you actually do pay attention, he doesn’t ever teach you anything? He just commentates what’s happening.” – Chris Wideman
“Here’s the other thing, too. We don’t change anything, ever. So why do we even have a meeting? I haven’t paid attention in three weeks.” – Matt Duchene – Here’s the problem for Duchene, this is a legitimate coaching criticism, HOWEVA, he has a history of being viewed as a cancerous locker room presence from his days in Colorado. This is not going to do him any favors from GM’s and Coach’s POV going forward.
There’s a bit more you can watch and digest for yourself, mostly a lot of laughing, joking, and woe is me sentiment you may expect from players on a bad team.
The team put out a joint issued statement with the players:
“We want to apologize publicly to Marty Raymond, our teammates and coaches for our comments in Phoenix Arizona on October 29. Our private conversation was recorded without our knowledge or consent. We’re passionate about our team, and focusing on growing together. We are grateful for the support of our fans and organization. This is an important learning experience, and we will do better.”
As I said above recording these guys without them knowing is a real piece of shit move. The problem is the concept of privacy in today’s society (especially for a professional athlete) is essentially dead. This is something I learned first hand from working with Pat. I used to think he was just being paranoid when we would go out (He rarely goes out anymore in Indianapolis). But as the years went on and his notoriety grew I began to notice things. People pulling out their phones and recording or taking pictures of anything and everything he did. He often tells the story of a guy recording a video of him pissing at a urinal, as if he is some rare breed of human that doesn’t piss. I can assure he pisses, a lot (it might be excellence tho).
When I moved to Indy and took this job with Pat, he taught me a personal philosophy of his that I first didn’t think much of at first, but now try and apply. He lives his life as if every moment and every conversation is being recorded. Now he has always, from the day I met him, lived his life as if it was the Truman Show. I used to think it was for pure entertainment, but I learned it’s that and more. It’s him being ahead of the curve and anticipating this current societal fascination with knowing everything about someone and in some cases doing whatever it takes to find and showcase these private moments.