Leafs, Golden Knights weigh in on Sen­a­tors’ Uber video con­tro­versy

Simcoe Reformer - Times-Reformer - - SPORTS - TERRY KOSHAN POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

Every­one talks about every­one in the game of hockey.

Do­ing so on video, and in the case of the Ottawa Sen­a­tors, hav­ing that video tossed into the pub­lic arena, is where the trou­ble and po­ten­tial for em­bar­rass­ment looms.

“All the play­ers talk about coaches all the time, be­lieve me, and vice versa,” Ve­gas Golden Knights coach Ger­ard Gal­lant, who played in 615 games in the Na­tional Hockey League, said on Tues­day after his team’s morn­ing skate at Sco­tia­bank Arena.

“We talk about them all the time, too. It’s un­for­tu­nate the (Ottawa) in­ci­dent hap­pened. It shouldn’t hap­pen.”

The video — in which sev­eral mem­bers of the Sen­a­tors, in­clud­ing for­ward Matt Duch­ene, de­fence­men Chris Wide­man and Thomas Chabot, bad-mouth the team and make fun of as­sis­tant coach Martin Ray­mond’s meth­ods — was posted to so­cial me­dia (though since re­moved) al­legedly by an Uber driver after it was filmed with­out the play­ers’ knowl­edge dur­ing a re­cent road trip that in­cluded a stop in Phoenix.

Maple Leafs de­fence­man Travis Der­mott was asked, only some­what jok­ingly, what the odds were that he and a team­mate would talk hockey the next time they are in an Uber to­gether.

Der­mott ac­knowl­edged that sim­i­lar con­ver­sa­tions of­ten oc­cur among his fel­low Leafs.

“They’re want­ing to win and talk­ing amongst team­mates, it’s kind of a tough sit­u­a­tion to put your­self in that way, but hockey is hockey,” Der­mott said. “Every­one wants to win, so talk­ing amongst your team­mates like that, it hap­pens, but you try to be as re­spect­ful as you can about it, of course.

“You have to al­ways be aware. There is al­ways eyes on you. If you’re go­ing to talk like that, prob­a­bly should make sure you are pretty safe about it. It’s a tough bounce for them, they are go­ing to have to deal with that, but it could hap­pen to any­one, re­ally.”

Golden Knights for­ward Ryan Reaves was lit­tle more suc­cinct.

“It sucks,” Reaves said. “(Play­ers) shouldn’t have to be wor­ry­ing about what you’re say­ing in an Uber. That’s my opin­ion. You never want to be filmed when you don’t know you’re be­ing filmed, put it that way.

“I would never ex­pect a cab ride con­ver­sa­tion to be made pub­lic, but it’s the world we live in right now. Every­body is a snitch.”

Leafs coach Mike Bab­cock didn’t nec­es­sar­ily side with those who ar­gued the video was an in­va­sion of the Sen­a­tors’ pri­vacy.

“Any time some­one says to you, ‘This is off the record,’ noth­ing is off the record in your life,” Bab­cock said. “Ev­ery­where you go, there is some­one tak­ing your pic­ture or the cam­era is on, and you know that as well.

“You can call it an in­va­sion of pri­vacy, sure, but is that not what we all live with ev­ery sin­gle day? I don’t know how this is any dif­fer­ent than any­thing I’m do­ing, liv­ing right here. To me that is part of the job. But what re­ally mat­ters is the peo­ple who sit at your kitchen ta­ble. It’s what they think. The rest is … kind of over­rated.”

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