If you thought the nearly year-long shit show surrounding the Ottawa Senators organization was starting to fade, well, it turns out there’s a lot more shit left in this show, after all.
The latest turd mark scuffing the team is a recording obtained and released Monday by the Ottawa Citizen which captured several higher profile Sens players—including Chris Wideman, Matt Duchene, Thomas Chabot, Chris Tierney, Colin White and Dylan DeMelo along with top-end prospect Alex Formenton who has since been returned to junior—talking all kinds of smack about the team's coaching staff, systems, special teams, and practice structure during a recent road trip.
The six players, who were assuming their privacy and were filmed without their consent, were caught on the Uber driver’s sketchy dashboard camera doing what players do: questioning organizational and coaching decisions from time to time.
The Senators neutral zone play was a favourite target of the players’ bashing.
“We don’t even slow them up,” Wideman says of the team’s play between the blue lines.
“In practice, when we break out against you guys, we get in every time,” says Duchene, a pending free agent.
Assistant coach Marty Raymond, who runs the team’s dismal, 30th-ranked penalty kill, especially got it from the group.
“Marty Raymond, the only coach in NHL history to have the worst power play and the worst PK within a calendar year,” Duchene says of Raymond.
“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,” Wideman says.
Regular mandatory team meetings suck, too, according to Duchene (he’s right, though, they really do suck and are generally pointless).
“Here’s the other thing, too—we don’t change anything, ever,” says Duchene. “So why do we even have a meeting? I haven’t paid attention in three weeks.”
The Senators released a statement Monday night from head coach Guy Boucher and players involved in the incident after the tape surfaced online.
The general manager of Uber Canada, Rob Khazzam, tweeted a statement condemning the actions of the driver who unlawfully filmed and recorded the players in his vehicle:
Whether this slimeball of an Uber driver is in the right or wrong in recording and releasing this video (hint: he’s very much in the wrong and certainly looking to gain some quick attention from this shit) doesn’t change the fact this this is yet another black eye for the Senators franchise which has taken its fair share of beatings over the last year or so.
Of course, there’s the whole thing with Senators owner Eugene Melnyk calling out fans and threatening to relocate the team. Melnyk’s unhinged emotion and ego then essentially led to franchise legend Erik Karlsson’s departure from Ottawa in the prime of his career, with the team yielding quite a disappointing return for the superstar after forfeiting all of its leverage.
Other very black marks on the team include Karlsson’s wife Melinda taking former winger Mike Hoffman’s fiancee, Monika Caryk, to court over alleged online abuse leading up to and following the death of the couple’s newborn child.
There’s more, too. Former assistant GM Randy Lee resigned in August after being charged with harassment of a bus driver at the NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo.
This released tape is like the fifth-worse thing to happen to the club over the last 12 months, which is wild.
After a decent start to the season, the Senators are back to shitting the bed again, having lost six of their last seven games. The new normal in Ottawa is not pretty.