There have been some hints from the Ottawa media that suggest several members plan on crashing Jason Spezza’s upcoming wedding in an attempt to force Dany Heatley to speak.
Personally, I think as a media group we need to act with some class and show a little respect for someone’s special day. Unfortunately, those two words (class & respect) aren’t in many reporters’ vocabularies and it’s a big reason why we are wedged comfortably between telemarketers and personal injury lawyers on the scale of likable professionals.
If Heatley chooses not to speak to the media before his friend’s wedding, that does not constitute an open invitation for us to attend. I understand that Heatley is a legitimate story and everyone wants to hear his thoughts on why he might want to leave Ottawa. I firmly believe that he owes Senators fans an explanation at some point.
But there’s a time and a place for that to happen. And guess what? It’s not at somebody’s wedding. If you want to stake out the airport for his arrival, I think that’s fair game. Camp out for him at some local bars in case he hits the town? Knock yourself out and pretend you work for TMZ for a night. I don’t have an issue with it.
But if you want to stake out the church or reception hall… that’s crossing the line.
If anything, we owe it to Spezza to leave this thing alone on his big day. Jason has been the most accommodating star to deal with from the media’s perspective.
Case in point: On the day that Team Canada omitted him from the orientation camp roster earlier this month, Spezza VOLUNTARILY came out to speak to us at Scotiabank Place when none of us even knew he was in the building. He could have ducked out and nobody would have been the wiser. Instead, he came out to speak with us on a day in which the topics (Olympic camp/Heatley) weren’t going to be positive.
Jason has asked all of us to respect his privacy on his special day and not show up. He’s hired security to make sure no unauthorized guests (hint, hint, media) try to sneak in. He couldn’t make it any more clear: “I’m nice to you guys 364 days a year. Please give me one day off.”
But I can’t shake the nagging feeling that pack journalism is going to rule the day. Everyone is going to be scared that the competition is going to get the scoop, so we better head to the wedding ourselves.
Let me just say this: If a bunch of media show up to Jason Spezza’s wedding, don’t be surprised if another superstar wants a trade out of Ottawa at some point. And once again, us clueless members of the media will be wondering why.