Imagine Capitals owner Ted Leonsis sitting down in a forced interview with Chandler Stephenson about the future of the Capitals after the team finished in the basement one season.
If you’ve ever wondered how deliciously awkward that conversation would be, dream no more. The Ottawa Senators released an a conversation between owner Eugene Melnyk and defenseman Mark Borowiecki at 10pm on a Monday. The discussion focused on the state of the Senators heading into the 2018-19 season.
Feast your eyes on the cringeworthiness.
The Ottawa Senators are proud to share the vision for the future of our team and this organization. We are about to launch an exciting plan to rebuild our team and we are inviting you to be a part of our rise to new heights. #OttawaRising pic.twitter.com/hok2jYCUVi
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) September 11, 2018
Let’s break this masterclass in floundering down, shall we?
Borowiecki’s introduction of “so let’s talk hockey” immediately sets the tone that the last thing Eugene wants to talk about are off-the-ice issues, including rumors that captain and generational defenseman Erik Karlsson might be traded, Karlsson’s wife’s order of protection against Mike Hoffman’s fiancee’s over targeted online harassment, assistant GM Randy Lee’s resignation over harassment charges, or that Melnyk commented about moving the franchise during the NHL 100 series.
Naturally, they veer off course and talk in cliches about how leadership from veterans is needed and that everyone is looking forward to a “season that’s fresh and brand new, something that we can look forward to with young players coming in,” according to Melnyk.
But within a minute of the conversation starting, Melnyk is quick to point out that “right now, we’re kinda in the dumpster.” Ottawa finished second to last in the NHL during the 2017-18 season, with 67 points.
The two veer off course again when Melnyk asks Borowiecki how the chemistry in the locker room was. Borowiecki’s answer is diplomatic, mentioning that they have characters but they “need to find a way to make some chemistry,” and that they “need some help with that.” Borowiecki admits they need outside influences and help, and as soon as he’s about to ask Melnyk how that will happen, Eugene jumps in to say that “we’ll give everything we got.”
Eugene then pivots to another off-ice issue, stating that he’ll stay with the Senators “for a long, long time … and the franchise isn’t going anywhere.” Melnyk and Rendezvous LeBreton are slowly working up a formal application to move the team to a new downtown arena.
The conversation ends with an incredibly awkward handshake after a discussion on how leaders like Borowiecki will carry the new players on the roster through the season.
Senators fans were displeased, and #MelnykOut was trending on Twitter after the video’s release.
— Trendsmap Ottawa (@TrendsOttawa) September 11, 2018
Eugene mansplaining to an NHL veteran about team dynamics and what it takes to have a good team. This video is insulting. Stone, Duchene and EK all have one foot out the door and anyone else who becomes good enough to have choices will flee first chance they get. #MelnykOut https://t.co/qOp1hJbuSJ
— CrankyFrankClair🦋 (@CrankyClair) September 11, 2018
What I heard: the leadership thinks we need to promote a team environment. Also, we’ll be kicking out 5-6 vets at the end of the season. Doesn’t anyone listen to these vids before sending them?! #melnykout
— (((lip1978))) (@lip1978) September 11, 2018
— Jake Newman (@JNewman_21) September 11, 2018
Late night NHL Twitter can be a strange place. https://t.co/wvmHa0ukUv
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 11, 2018
Headline image: @Senators
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