‘Stronger mov­ing for­ward’

Ottawa Sen­a­tors ready to move on from Uber video

Simcoe Reformer - Times-Reformer - - SPORTS - BRUCE GARRIOCH POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

The Ottawa Sen­a­tors are ready to turn the page. They in­sist they have al­ready. As they pre­pared to face the New Jersey Devils Tues­day night at the Canadian Tire Cen­tre, the Sen­a­tors in­sisted they’ve known a video taken by an Uber driver in Ari­zona last week was cir­cu­lat­ing on the in­ter­net and they’ve dealt with the mat­ter in­ter­nally.

Speak­ing Tues­day about the video, which in­cluded the likes of Matt Duch­ene, Chris Wide­man, Thomas Chabot and Chris Tier­ney mock­ing the coach­ing staff, the Sen­a­tors in­sisted they ’ve ad­dressed it as a group.

Apolo­gies have been made by the play­ers in the video to as­sis­tant Martin Ray­mond, who took most of the crit­i­cism, and also the coach­ing staff. As the skate wrapped up, Duch­ene, who was also ac­com­pa­nied by Dy­lan DeMelo, Colin White and Alex For­men­ton, was hav­ing a chat with Ray­mond near cen­tre ice.

The Sen­a­tors is­sued a state­ment Mon­day night say­ing they felt by tap­ing and post­ing this con­ver­sa­tion on the in­ter­net the Uber driver breached the player’s pri­vacy. None of the play­ers in video spoke with the me­dia be­fore the club faced the Devils.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing the video got re­leased,” al­ter­nate cap­tain Mark Stone said. “We dealt this long be­fore this video was re­leased. As a coach­ing staff, as man­age­ment and as play­ers it was dealt with in­ter­nally the way it should be.

“We’re go­ing to move for­ward and go from there. We don’t want nega­tive stuff sur­round­ing our team. This is a hic­cup but I think guys have made a great ef­fort to re­pair re­la­tion­ships. This is only go­ing to make our team stronger mov­ing for­ward.”

Coach Guy Boucher said he — like many oth­ers on the team — is sad to see Ray­mond get em­bar­rassed.

“We’ve had to deal with that days ago. We had to play the last game and we had a ter­rific at­ti­tude and work ethic,” Boucher said. “You saw this morn­ing there was great en­thu­si­asm from our play­ers, great buy-in and we’re def­i­nitely get­ting ready for (Tues­day).

“If you ask me per­son­ally, not the coach, I don’t choose my words care­fully, I don’t know who makes de­ci­sions to put things like that out there but when you’re pur­posely try­ing to hurt an­other hu­man be­ing I don’t want to spend too much time on that.

“Es­pe­cially prob­a­bly the best hu­man be­ing I know. That’s per­son­ally, there you have it. Team­wise we’ve moved on.”

Of course, this could hap­pen any­where, but this or­ga­ni­za­tion is un­der the mi­cro­scope be­cause of the off-ice is­sues in­volv­ing for­mer cap­tain Erik Karls­son and winger Mike Hoff­man last sea­son.

Both have since been traded; the Sen­a­tors are hop­ing to keep the fo­cus on the ice this year.

“We deal with things in­ter­nally all year long,” Boucher said. “I’ve been coach­ing for 22 years and I played for 20-some years. There’s a lot of things you deal with dur­ing the year. When they’re a team thing, you deal with them as a team and when they’re per­sonal things you deal with them on a per­sonal ba­sis. Ev­ery­thing has been dealt with.”

When the Sen­a­tors learned the video was out there, they didn’t want to let it linger which is why the or­ga­ni­za­tion dis­cussed it in house.

“There’s ques­tions of pri­vacy and stuff like that,” said de­fence­man Mark Borowiecki. “For us, mov­ing for­ward, it’s just go­ing to be han­dled as an in­ter­nal is­sue. We’ve ad­dressed it in days past and we’re try­ing to be on top of this.

“It’s just some­thing we’re go­ing to try take care of in­ter­nally.”

Borowiecki said the coach­ing staff and the play­ers are on the same page.

“We’re all still com­mit­ted as a group here,” he added. “Our No. 1 fo­cus is what we’re go­ing to do on the ice as well as ty­ing into how we’re go­ing to han­dle our­selves go­ing for­ward. It’s go­ing to be team-first. It’s a bump on the road.

“As a group of play­ers, we’ve met, we’re go­ing to take care of it and that’s our mes­sage.”

It’s widely ac­cepted that these con­ver­sa­tions take place all the time and it wasn’t right that this one was taped by the Uber driver.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate it was made pub­lic. We’re go­ing to have to deal with the con­se­quences and the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of that but we want to keep this in-house as much as we can deal with it ap­pro­pri­ately,” Borowiecki said.

“I just think peo­ple are naive if they think play­ers don’t talk about coaches and, by the same to­ken, coaches don’t talk about play­ers. I can guar­an­tee you I’ve done some bone­headed things on the ice that they’ve chewed me out for. I guar­an­tee it. To think that doesn’t hap­pen is naive.

He added: “We’re still com­mit­ted as a group. We’re go­ing to get this thing go­ing in the right di­rec­tion. We’re go­ing to take care of this in­house and just make sure we are still mak­ing progress.”

Ottawa Sen­a­tors as­sis­tant coach Martin Ray­mond (left) shares a laugh with Max McCormick dur­ing prac­tice on Tues­day in Ottawa. The Sen­a­tors say that they’re ready to move on after a video sur­faced of sev­eral play­ers crit­i­ciz­ing fel­low play­ers and coaches, es­pe­cially Ray­mond. THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.