Borowiecki sup­ports con­tro­ver­sial Sens video

The Recorder & Times (Brockville) - - SPORTS - LISA WAL­LACE

GATINEAU, Que. — Mark Borowiecki is mak­ing no apolo­gies for play­ing a ma­jor role in the lat­est con­tro­ver­sial move by the Ottawa Se­na­tors.

The rugged de­fence­man in­ter­viewed owner Eugene Mel­nyk in a team-pro­duced video re­leased Mon­day night out­lin­ing the Se­na­tors’ plan for a re­build.

The six-minute clip went vi­ral and re­ceived sig­nif­i­cant back­lash on so­cial me­dia, but as far Borowiecki is con­cerned, he did the right thing.

“I was ap­proached and asked to help out with some­thing for the team and I was told what it was and as a mem­ber of this or­ga­ni­za­tion we had a chance to get a mes­sage out to fans and sea­son-ticket hold­ers and I think it’s some­thing fans de­served to know, and prob­a­bly should have known ear­lier, and I was happy to kind of help get that mes­sage out,” the Ottawa na­tive told re­porters be­fore the team’s an­nual char­ity golf tour­na­ment on Wed­nes­day.

“I did it know­ing full well there would be back­lash, but that’s part of be­ing an adult some­times. I’m go­ing to do what­ever I can to help this team and I thought fans de­served to know the mes­sage, de­served to know the plan. Set­ting the fo­rum aside, the mes­sage was re­ally the im­por­tant thing there.”

Borowiecki said his pri­or­ity is to help turn the Se­na­tors around af­ter a dis­as­trous run on and off the ice. The team fin­ished sec­ond­last in the NHL and Mel­nyk hinted at re­lo­ca­tion if at­ten­dance didn’t im­prove, al­though he changed his tune in the wake of those De­cem­ber com­ments and again in the video, say­ing the team is stay­ing.

Things didn’t get any bet­ter over the sum­mer. There has been con­stant spec­u­la­tion about cap­tain Erik Karls­son’s fu­ture with the squad, which only picked up when his wife filed an or­der of pro­tec­tion against for­mer team­mate Mike Hoff­man’s fi­ancee for al­leged cy­ber­bul­ly­ing. As­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager Randy Lee, mean­while, re­signed af­ter be­ing ac­cused of ha­rass­ment at a pre-draft com­bine in Buf­falo.

“It’s cool right now to dump on this team, right? That’s the cool thing to do on­line, I get it,” Borowiecki said. “It’s been a try­ing year for ev­ery­one. There’s been things that have hap­pened out­side of our con­trol that have re­flected poorly on this or­ga­ni­za­tion and I get it, but I’m not go­ing to par­tic­i­pate in that. The easy way out for me there would have been for me to say no and keep my head low and let ev­ery­thing blow over and hope I’m here on the other side. That’s easy. Avoid all the back­lash, avoid all the crit­i­cism, but that’s not the way I’m wired.”

POST­MEDIa fILES

Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki in­ter­viewed team owner Eugene Mel­nyk in a team­pro­duced video that’s re­ceived sig­nif­i­cant back­lash on­line.

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