“We don’t even slow them up,” Wideman says of Ottawa’s play in the neutral zone.
“In practice, when we break out against you guys,” says Duchene, a pending free agent, “We get in every time.”
Assistant coach Martin Raymond was a specific target of the players’ criticisms. The Senators were fifth-last in the league in power-play percentage in 2017-18, and sixth-last in penalty killing.
“Marty Raymond, the only coach in NHL history to have the worst power play and the worst PK within a calendar year,” says Duchene of Raymond.
“Do you notice that when (Raymond) runs the video, if you actually do pay attention, he doesn’t ever teach you anything?” asked Wideman. “He just commentates what’s happening.”
“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.”
It should be noted that the players were speaking in a seemingly private capacity and had no reason to believe their comments would ever be leaked to the public. They’re certainly not the first to speak ill of their bosses and they most definitely won’t be the last.
Still, the Senators as an organization have been a mess for about a calendar year now, though a respectable start to this season gave fans reason for optimism surrounding the franchise.
But a 4-2-1 start has been erased by a stretch of six losses in seven games and this new leak has become just the latest source of embarrassment for a team that’s seen more than its fair share of scandals in the past year; most notably the wife of former captain Erik Karlsson taking the the fiancée of former winger Mike Hoffman to court in an alleged online abuse case.
Randy Lee, an assistant GM of the team, resigned in August amid charges of harassment of a shuttle bus driver in Buffalo at the NHL Draft Combine.
UPDATE: Rob Khazzam, general manager of Uber Canada has tweeted the following statement:
The Senators have also released a pair of statements, the first an apology from the players (save for Formenton):
“We want to apologize publicly to Marty Raymond, our teammates and coaches for our comments in Phoenix Arizona on October 29. 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.”
The other, from head coach Guy Boucher:
“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.”