Ottawa Senators centre Matt Duchene speaks to reporters during the team’s season wrap up in Ottawa, Monday April 9, 2018. Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Senators players apologize after being caught criticizing team on video recording

Senators players who were caught on tape joking about and criticizing their team’s defence in a video posted online are apologizing for their comments.

Ottawa Senators players who were caught on tape joking about and criticizing their team’s defence in a video posted online are apologizing for their comments.

The Senators released a statement Monday night from Thomas Chabot, Dylan DeMelo, Matt Duchene, Alex Formenton, Chris Tierney, Chris Wideman and Colin White, who were shown talking about Ottawa’s ineffective penalty kill and mocking one of their coaches in a recording that apparently came from a camera mounted on the dash of an Uber driver’s van or SUV.

The players mocked assistant coach Martin Raymond, who handles the team’s penalty-killing unit, in the five-minute clip that was recorded in Phoenix during Ottawa’s west-coast road trip at the end of October.

“We want to apologize publicly to Marty Raymond, our teammates and coaches for our comments in Phoenix, Arizona on October 29,” read the statement emailed to The Canadian Press.

“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 Uber driver is heard asking what team the players play for near the beginning of the video and Wideman, seated in the passenger seat, replies: “Ottawa. If you can tell we’re really pleased with our ….” A player seated in the middle row of the vehicle finishes his sentence: “with our PK.”

Duchene later adds that he “(hasn’t) paid attention in three weeks” in 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 in the clip.

The Senators are currently 29th in the league in penalty killing at 68.8 per cent.

Head coach Guy Boucher said in the same statement that the team has “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,” Boucher added.

A Postmedia story Monday said the video was posted elsewhere online over the weekend and has since been deleted.

Uber Canada’s general manager Rob Khazzam said on his verified Twitter account on 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.

Warning: The above video contains strong language.

The video recording is the latest scandal for a team that’s been riddled with them lately.

Negative headlines dogged the Senators last season, including a threat by owner Eugene Melnyk to move the team if ticket sales didn’t improve. And in May, the wife of former captain Erik Karlsson filed an order of protection against 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 in the off-season.

The Senators are 5-6-3 through their first 14 games this year.

Related: Canucks 1 of 4 Canadian NHL teams without captain

Related: Ottawa Senators sign Mark Stone to a one-year deal worth US$7.35M

The Canadian Press

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