Seven Ottawa Senators players issued an apology on Monday night after their conversation in an Uber ride — criticizing the team’s poor play and an assistant coach — was recorded and published online.
The five-minute recording, a grainy black-and-white video taken from the car’s dashboard, features players ripping assistant coach Martin Raymond, who is in charge of the penalty kill.
“Do you notice that when [Raymond] runs the video, if you actually do pay attention, he doesn’t ever teach you anything?” defenseman Chris Wideman said. “He just commentates what’s happening.”
Center Matt Duchene said: “We don’t change anything, ever. So why do we even have a meeting? I haven’t paid attention in three weeks.”
“We want to apologize publicly to Marty Raymond, our teammates and coaches for our comments in Phoenix Arizona on October 29,” the statement read. “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 team also issued a statement from 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,” Boucher’s statement read. “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 driver seemed unaware who the players were in the beginning of the drive, but asked which team they played for. The players then identified themselves as Ottawa Senators players.
The video was recorded while the team was on a road trip playing the Arizona Coyotes. Recording law in Arizona requires only one-party consent.
This is the latest in a string of embarrassing incidents for the Senators, who finished with the second-worst record in the league last season.
The biggest area of critique for the players in the car was the team’s penalty kill. The Senators had the third-worst penalty kill in the league through Monday night, killing off only 68.7 percent of penalties.