‘Stronger moving forward’
Ottawa Senators ready to move on from Uber video
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