Colour Commentary: Senators Uber video makes a big deal out of nothing

Colour commentary
Sports Editor Nicholas Di Giovanni gives his take on his latest in sports with his weekly Colour Commentary

Driver and Ottawa Citizen look bad in this situation

Usually, the Ottawa Senators are the gift that keeps on giving. This year, every little thing they’ve done is laughable, from trading captain Erik Karlsson for eight not-so-good assets, to having owner Eugene Melnyck sit down with defenceman Mark Borowiecki for an awkward interview. The Senators went from being one goal away from the Stanley Cup Final in 2017 to one of the worst teams a year later, and they gave the rest of the hockey world something to laugh at along the way.

However, the Senators’s latest incident is nothing to laugh at, and I actually feel bad for the team. On Nov. 5, the Ottawa Citizen released a security video from inside an Uber ride seven players took together in Arizona. During the ride, forwards Matt Duchene and Chris Tierney, along with defencemen Thomas Chabot and Chris Wideman, made fun of assistant coach Martin Raymond. Wideman and Duchene are the most active in the conversation, criticizing Raymond for his coaching style, or lack thereof. “We don’t change anything ever, so why do we even have a meeting,” Duchene asked. “I haven’t paid attention in three weeks.”

When the video was released, the players and the Senators got heat for it and became the laughing stock of the NHL again. But you know what, it’s not even that big of a deal. In fact, the Uber driver and the Citizen are in the wrong for posting the video and breaching the players’ privacy.

Is it really a surprise that they’re mocking their coach? Not at all. When Raymond’s penalty-killing unit is running at 70 per cent efficiency, fourth-worst in the league, did you expect players to be praising his work behind his back? It’s not like they attacked him personally or made death threats, they were making fun of how he coaches and how their penalty-killing is so bad.

It’s as if the media holds NHL players to a higher standard when they’re outside the rink. Yes, hockey players have to be role models and set a good example for their young fans, but is the Citizen seriously going to tarnish them just for saying some things in an Uber? They’re people too—the fact that they were in an Uber and not drinking and driving is enough to show they’re responsible. I’m sure the people at the Citizen have said some nasty things about their bosses too, but luckily for them, they haven’t been caught doing it.

This whole situation is just ridiculous, and all the Senators need to worry about is improving their penalty kill.

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