Seven players from the Ottawa Senators have apologized after a video surfaced showing them insulting the team and an assistant coach during an Uber ride, the latest bit of humiliation for the organization.
The video shows the players discussing their ineffective penalty kill and mocking assistant Martin Raymond in what appears to be a recording from a camera mounted on the dash of an Uber driver’s van or SUV. There are seven players in the vehicle, including Matt Duchene, Chris Wideman, Chris Tierney, and Thomas Chabot.
Post Media shared the video on its YouTube page Monday night. It said the video was originally posted elsewhere over the weekend and has since been deleted. It’s not clear who posted the original video.
“We want to apologize publicly to Marty Raymond, our teammates and coaches for our comments in Phoenix, Arizona on October 29,” the players said in a statement Monday released by the team. “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.”
Senators coach Guy Boucher said in a statement the club has “every confidence in Marty Raymond’s coaching,” and he is “treating this as a team matter, and will be making no further comment to the media.”
Near the start of the video, the driver is heard asking what team the players play for, and Wideman, seated in the passenger seat, replies: “Ottawa. If you can tell we’re really pleased with our …” before a player seated in the middle row of the vehicle finishes his sentence: “with our PK.”
The players go on to ridicule Raymond, who handles the team’s penalty-killing unit, in the five-minute clip that appears to have been recorded in the Phoenix area.
“Marty Raymond, the only coach in NHL history to have the worst power play and the worst PK within a calendar year,” Duchene says.
Duchene later adds that he “(hasn’t) paid attention in three weeks” during Raymond’s meetings.
“Here’s the other thing, too. We don’t change anything ever. So why do we even have a meeting?” he says.
The Senators are currently 29th in the league in penalty killing at 68.8 percent.
Uber Canada’s General Manager Rob Khazzam said on his verified Twitter account Monday night that “a video released by the media today of several Uber passengers being filmed without their consent while having a private discussion … is a clear violation of our terms of service”
“Filming or recording passengers without their consent is totally unacceptable and if reported/detected we will investigate,” he added.
The Senators have been trying to improve their image after a year marked by failures and embarrassment. Team owner Eugene Melnyk threatened to move the team last season if ticket sales didn’t improve, but has since committed to keeping the team in Ottawa.
In May, the wife of former captain Erik Karlsson filed an order of protection against teammate Mike Hoffman’s fiancee, claiming she had posted over 1,000 “negative and derogatory” comments about her on social media. Both Karlsson and Hoffman were traded this summer.