Members of the Ottawa Senators released an apology on Tuesday morning, hours after dash cam video leaked of a vehicle full of players openly mocking the team and its management.
The five-minute clip, recording on October 29th in Phoenix, shows a number of Senators players, including Matt Duchene, Chris Wideman, Thomas Chabot and Chris Tierney among them, joking about the team’s performance and assistant coach Marty Raymond.
“Marty Raymond, the only coach in NHL history to have the worst power-play and the worst PK within a calendar year,” Duchene said of the coach in charge of the team’s penalty-killing this year and power-play in 2017-18.
“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 adds.
“Here’s the other thing, too,” Duchene says. “We don’t change anything, ever. So why do we even have a meeting? I haven’t paid attention in three weeks.”
It it unknown who leaked the video, which was posted to Twitter and YouTube and then taken down, but the players involved, Duchene, Wideman, Chabot, Tierney, Dylan DeMelo, Alex Formenton, and Colin White apologized for their behavior late Monday night.
“We want to apologize publicly to Marty Raymond, our teammates and coaches for our comments in Phoenix Arizona on October 29,” the players said in a collective statement. “Our private conversation was recorded without our knowledge or consent. We’re passionate about our team, and focusing on growing together. We are grateful for the support of our fans and organization. This is an important learning experience, and we will do better.”
Ottawa head coach Guy Boucher also issued a statement on the situation: “Nothing is more important to us during this rebuild than making sure our players and coaches are fully committed to our plan, our values and our system of play. We have every confidence in Marty Raymond’s coaching; in the effort and determination of our team; and in the sincerity of our players’ apology. We are now treating this as a team matter, and will be making no further comment to the media.”
The video also prompted a response from Uber Canada general manager Rob Khazzam on Twitter, though he did not specifically mention the incident.
“A video was released by the media today of several Uber passengers being filmed without their consent while having a private discussion during a trip in Phoenix. This is a clear violation of our terms of service and we worked vigorously to investigate this issue,” he posted. “Filming or recording passengers without their consent is totally unacceptable and if reported / detected we will investigate + take action to preserve our communities privacy and integrity. In this specific case, we made efforts to have the video taken down.”
The leaked video of the players’ frustration at their coaching staff, systems and culture is the latest mark on the franchise’s record, as it was forced to first trade forward Mike Hoffman after a feud between his girlfriend and the wife of teammate Erik Karlsson went public. Karlsson, one of the NHL’s premier defensemen, was then traded to the Sharks ahead of training camp for what is widely considered a meager return. As well, questions surround owner Eugene Melnyk, who has threatened to move to team due to flagging attendance.