Following the organization’s end of the year town hall sessions, everything in Ottawa has been quiet.
That’s probably the way the Ottawa Senators wanted it.
Since the moment general manager Pierre Dorion revealed that Guy Boucher and his staff would be returning behind the bench next season, the only thing fans have been looking forward to is the conclusion of the Stanley Cup playoffs and the transition to the news cycle focusing on which prospect the Senators could select with the fourth overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
Well, the silence is now over.
Daniel Alfredsson spoke with former Ottawa Sun reporter Susan Sherring at mayor Jim Watson’s campaign kickoff last night at The Burbs in Kanata where he acknowledged that he and Watson are both on the same page when it comes to their desire regarding the Ottawa Senators’ ownership situation.
From Susan Sherring’s blog:
“We’ve talked a lot, we’ve talked about the future of the Senators and of its ownership and we agree,” he said.And just what do they agree on?“We hope we get a new owner,” the former captain said.
Once the words left Alfredsson’s mouth, Sherring acknowledged that from her visual reaction to his comments, he realized probably said too much.
“Back to my bulging eyes. After admitting both he and Watson are hoping for a new owner, Alfredsson said the comment was off-the-record.”
Unfortunately for Alfredsson, his comments are now in the public realm thanks to Sherring’s refusal to retroactively allow him to dictate the terms of an interview after his comments were made.
Sherring would go on to state that Alfredsson acknowledged to Watson that he didn’t recognize Sherring as a journalist, which is an easy mistake to make since she stopped working for the Sun and never worked the local sports beat.
Alfredsson’s always been a candid interview and it would be a shame if this exchange raises his guard in the future, but for the betterment of this city and this hockey team, the impact in having his name attached to a sentiment that many in this city feel is important.
While I’m certainly empathetic with him for being put in an awkward position or failing to realize that Sherring could post his comments on the interwebs, there’s something to be said about the public good in having his comments see the light of day.
Senators fans will appreciate seeing a franchise icon — someone who’s left the organization twice now because of his dealings with Melnyk — echo their belief that this city and franchise would be better off if the Senators’ owner would sell.
Fan confidence and a respect for Eugene Melnyk has deteriorated to the point where few believe that he’s capable or competent enough to deliver a winner.
Like the #MelnykOut billboards, Alfredsson’s comments — comments that are reportedly shared by Jim Watson and former mayor Jim Durrell — will bring more national media coverage to the ownership crisis facing Ottawa and as disappointing as it has to be for Alfredsson to see his comments out there in the public sphere, hopefully he can recognize that his words can be used for a greater public good.