As we all learned late yesterday, members of the Ottawa Senators were filmed by an Uber driver while in Arizona during their road trip. In the video you can see the players talking and joking about the coaching staff and the meetings that take place for the team.
Now this doesn’t come as a major surprise that this is happening in Ottawa given the recent track record of drama that has engulfed the team since the 2017-18 season, but the level of dissention that we can see brewing is truly unheard of. It is common to hear of coaches or specific players losing the locker room and their support, which in effect causes change, but this one is much different as it is also evident that the owner of the Senators, Eugene Melnyk, has lost the entire organization.
Now many have asked why the NHL has not stepped in to fix the issue, and the answer is rather simple. The NHL does not own the team, and unless the Ottawa Senators become a financial mess, and on the verge of folding, then the League can become involved like they have with the Arizona Coyotes, and a couple others to keep them be stable until they could get new ownership. From a financial standpoint the Senators are not being poorly managed, but that still doesn’t change the fact that Melnyk needs to sell the Senators so they can all get a fresh start.
What can the NHL do? Honestly nothing, but have conversations with Eugene Melnyk and the other owners about the situation. However, there will come a point where something needs to happen.
How about the players on the video? What should happen with them? For a situation like this it’s rather difficult. There will obviously be team imposed punishments for the players behavior, but for something like this the League may not be able to do anything, unless the CBA states other wise.
But this also begs a bigger question from someone like me and that is this. If you aren’t happy with the team you’re on, why don’t you say something to those in charge of the team? It’s not the League’s job to fix the problem for you. You need to speak to those in charge of your team, be it the Captain, the Coach, or even the General Manager, or the Owner. Despite what people think, they will talk to you and listen to your grievances and do what they can to help fix the issue for you, but doing it behind those people’s backs is not the way to do it.
Hopefully soon we’ll see real change in Ottawa, but until then this will be a bumpy ride.