Before the 2018-19 season started, there was more than one scandal that took place in Ottawa. Sure, it is easy to think about the blockbuster trade of all-star defenseman and captain Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks, but remember when the Senators made the shocking move to waive veteran forward Zack Smith? The winger himself revealed he was taken aback when he was told by general manager Pierre Dorion he was being placed on waivers. Of course, with three years and $9.25 million left on his contract, Smith went unclaimed and joined the roster on opening night in the end, but still it must have been a tough pill to swallow.
This is why this twist in the whole Uber fiasco is expected to make many people smile.
As you all know by now, several players of the Ottawa Senators openly joked about their penalty-killing abilities, mocked one of their coaches, Martin Raymond, and laughed at the ineffectiveness of special-team meetings in a candid video that was posted online from their Uber car ride during a team's road trip. The video — since taken down — appears to have been shot in Phoenix on Oct. 29 or 30 during the team’s western road swing. While forward Mark Stone revealed that the team was aware of the video before it went viral, it does not change the fact that head coach Guy Boucher feels embarrassed by its content and takes it personal.
“Marty Raymond, the only coach in NHL history to have the worst power-play and the worst PK within a calendar year,” says Sens forward Matt Duchene, in reference to Martin Raymond, an assistant coach in charge of the team’s penalty-killing this year and power-play last season.
“Here’s the other thing, too. We don’t change anything, ever. So why do we even have a meeting? I haven’t paid attention in three weeks.”
While Smith says he feels terrible for Raymond and the comments made on his hard work, the veteran winger still took it upon himself to stand up for his six teammates. Since, the players involved, Thomas Chabot, Dylan DeMelo, Matt Duchene, Alex Formenton, Chris Tierney, Chris Wideman, and Colin White issued a statement to apologize to Raymond and the rest of the team for their comments.
This is what Smith had to say about the situation and how he chose to stand up for his teammates. You can see his entire statement in the video above, atop of this article.
"I'll be honest: it could have been anyone. You take a camera and follow anyone home from work, you're going to catch things that are said about bosses...It's a private conversation. I feel terrible for the six guys in the video, and especially for Marty. It's definitely not fair to him, and it's not fair to a lot of the guys."
"It's not just about those six guys, you know, we feel bad for them. If you took me with a camera home with me and followed me around in my hockey career and recorded everything I've said about coaches... I don't think I'd be in the league and I'd have a lot of people mad at me, so. It's unfortunate, it's not our identity."
Let's see how the team gets back from this new scandal, however, it sure seems like players aren't blaming one another for it...