Melnyk Should Go – The World According to Alfie

The future of a successful Ottawa Senators lies with a new team owner.
That, according to former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is what he and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson collectively believe in. Who knew Watson and Alfredsson were such good buddies?
Alfredsson was the “surprise” guest at Sunday’s campaign kickoff for Watson – offering his support as the mayor seeks a third term in office. Turns out – according to Alfredsson – both he and Watson are hoping the Ottawa Senators get a new team owner – and can say goodbye to its present owner Eugene Melnyk.
Alfredsson made the admission in an interview with On the City, From the Burbs at Watson’s campaign kickoff.
“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.
Small wonder that behind closed doors it appears Watson and Alfredsson have hoped for a new owner – much of the rest of the city has been doing the same for quite some time now. Few will blame Watson or Alfredsson for hoping for someone better for Ottawa. Though of course, Watson is trying to mend a bad relationship with Melnyk, so this isn’t something he’d be happy about getting out.
Perhaps after seeing my eyes bulge out, Alfredsson realized he might have said too much. Well, guess that all depends on your point of view. Melnyk doesn’t have a lot of fans these days. He seems to delight in crying wolf and the citizens of this lovely city are tired of it. He’s threatened to take the team and go elsewhere. He’s insisted for years he can’t afford to keep the team, that he needs a bigger venue to attract more fans in the stands. And then, when he is part of a winning bid to redevelop Lebreton Flats and build a better arena – something he said he desperately needed – he began to backtrack. Maybe he wouldn’t move the team, maybe the team should just stay in Kanata. Seems he loves to threaten. Ottawans, not so much.
]And when Melnyk realized his own lack of popularity was hitting near bottom, he went on what appeared to be a public relations tour to win back Ottawa fans. Didn’t he start that in Toronto?
Nice.
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. Frankly, I was taken off guard. In the world of off-the-record, the terms of the interview are agreed upon before anything begins.
As a columnist, I go off-the-record all the time. It’s key to being a columnist, to get an understanding of what’s really going on, of hearing the truth without the person being interviewed in fear of being reported on. But you can’t change the rules of the game part way through an interview.
Watson of course is well aware of the rules and has an understanding of what he can and can’t say and when he can do that. He and I have gone off -the-record countless times. No surprise that when asked about his alleged desire to see a new owner, Watson did his best tap dance. He didn’t let himself be pinned down about whether he’d actually shared that with Alfredsson and he would only say he had no say about who the owner is – but would do what he could to see a new NHL arena at Lebreton Flats.
Then Watson said Alfredsson told him he didn’t know he was talking to a reporter. Well, that’s hard to believe. If Alfredsson, whom I’ve interviewed several times, didn’t know I was a reporter, why would he have suggested after the interview his comments were off the record? Don’t buy it. But it really does’t matter. In the world of social media, anyone and everyone has access to getting the truth out – whether it’s through standard or social media. And the truth is, Alfredsson and Watson are right. For everyone’s sake, let’s hope the Ottawa Senators get a new owner.
Former Ottawa mayor Jim Durrell was on hand to support Watson’s bid for re-election. Told Alfredsson said both he and the mayor were hoping for a new team leader, Durrell’s response was typically to the point.
“Everybody does.”
And there’s the truth.

47 Comments

  1. You can always on Jim Durrell to be to the point. It’s why I enjoyed working with him. Always direct and to the point. He was and is a great Mayor and citizen.

  2. He asked for his comments to be off the record but you didn’t believe him. Okay. Good luck with interview going forward, where nobody will give you any information because of your loyalty. Disgusting.

  3. “As a columnist, I go off-the-record all the time. It’s key to being a columnist, to get an understanding of what’s really going on, of hearing the truth without the person being interviewed in fear of being reported on. But you can’t change the rules of the game part way through an interview.”

    You’re right, but you can also be a human being sometimes. You didn’t catch the Prime Minister leaking something of public interest, you caught a retired hockey player letting out his thoughts on an owner. Mazel Tov. The world is a better place thanks to your incredible reporting. People like you are why I’m happy I’m not in journalism anymore. It’s all about getting your name out there isn’t it? Me, I was never able to not give a guy a mulligan over something like this for a juicy scoop on my blog. Guess that’s why I couldn’t hack it.

    1. Dear Sue you’re not a reporter you’re only a glory Seeker at best I think it is Despicable of you to embarrass Alfredsson the way you did just to get your name out there currently I think your name means nothing to readers of any Ottawa paper before embarrassing yourself any further why don’t you apologize for doing so and resign as there’s not very many jobs left for you

      1. Resign from what, this volunteer blogging? Thanks for your advice Rick Dowd, but I believe the more voices at city hall the better – and honestly – don’t read me if you don’t like what I post. That wouldn’t bother me at all.

        1. I don’t have much choice when all the bullshit you write gets on the Sportsnet and in all the papers you don’t have a choice but read this crap

        2. I’ve never read this blog but I looked it up just to find you. What an embarrassment! Don’t hide behind the fact that you’re a volunteer… volunteers can still have integrity, dignity and respectability. Don’t pretend you’ve done the world a big favour by telling everyone Daniel Alfredsson’s confidential opinion… it’s one thing to report on real whistleblowers and reveal things that can make a difference. All you’ve done is embarrass yourself and a great man to no one’s benefit. Good luck with your next interview… you’ll need it.

  4. For all that Daniel Alfredsson has done for our city and hockey team, to not respect his request that that was an “off the record” comment is just wrong no matter how you try and justify it.

  5. When someone makes a public statement at a campaign launch party, please don’t say everything is off the record & top secret! We are all adults, thank you for sharing the story with us Sue. That’s real news & not alternative facts, it is what makes Sue a great reporter – please keep it up!

      1. You deserve to get a lot of negative comments. When someone asks for comments to be off the record you should respect that.

        You now have zero credibility to anyone in Ottawa. You are an embarrassment to this city and our citizens.

        I hope this was the last high profile person you have the ability to “chat” with….

  6. What a snake move to publish his comments after him saying they were off the record. Like Alfie needs people bothering him over something like this. Pretty amateur stuff from you.

    1. Don’t think you can blacklist an unpaid blogger, but go for it. Or you could just stop reading me, which I’m fine with.

    1. Just to be clear, have no idea who you are, but you’re certainly not my pal. Had no idea so many people are in favour of clamping down on the truth, but there you go.

      1. Your blog doesn’t pay and your integrity is worth nothing!!! From my sister… She didn’t say off the record!!! Sorry… NOT SORRY

  7. And to think you ran for City Council on a platform of integrity and ethics. Good thing most of the voters saw through your facade of greed and self-promotion. Disgusting that you violated the trust of such a respected member of our community.

  8. I am curious what you told Mr. Alfredsson after he asked for it to be off the record. Did you say, “Sorry sir, can’t do that once the interview started.”? If so how did he react? Did you say, “I won’t print it” and then you did? Regardless, it’s not the right way to do things. Also when publishing something like this you need to make sure there are absolutely no spelling or punctuation errors. It takes away from your message.

    1. I told him that he had been around a long time and knew the rules, that if he wanted it off the record, that had to be have been made clear before the interview started. As I’ve written, I go off the record all the time, it’s an important part of being a columnist. And of course I didn’t tell him I wouldn’t publish it, that would have been a lie. I made it clear I was going to publish – he stared me down for a bit – telling me again that I couldn’t. I told him he could stare me down all he wanted, I was going to write it.
      He was then called away to endorse Jim Watson, but told me I had to wait until the event finished because he wanted to talk to me again.
      I did wait, but saw him leave without talking to me as I was talking to someone. Now you know.

      1. You know that’s a lot of crap you wanted to screw him and you did and now you’re trying to make excuses for your wrong decision

      2. So you basically just copped to taking advantage of someone who wasn’t familiar with your “rules” of journalistic engagement. You’re content to justify your actions by claiming that just because he said “off the record” after the comment was put forth, instead of before, that it’s ok for you to be a snake about it and go against his direct wishes. You’re just splitting hairs, he said “off the record”, and the point at which it occurs should be irrelevant. Unless you’re just an unemployed (permanently) snake paparazzi looking to get a scoop I guess. You’re why the public dislikes and distrusts the media.

  9. He asked for his comments to be “off the record” AFTER he made them. It doesn’t work that way. “Off the record” has to be agreed to BEFOREhand. He realized he said something explosive, and then wanted to take it back. Nice try, but nope. Sue did nothing wrong.

    1. Thanks TV Gord. Been a rough day. And surprised so many people would prefer to have the truth covered up, but what the reaction have been if Alfie wasn’t such a loved player in Ottawa?

      1. The only reason you “interviewed” him was because he was a much loved former player, you twit. What possible journalistic good comes from printing a former player’s comments about a hockey team he hasn’t played for in five years, other than to drive hits to your eyesore WYSIWYG-website?

        “The truth”… Why don’t you track down Jason Spezza for this hardhitting exposé you’ve started for yourself. “Former hockey player not fond of owner of organization he twice left abruptly” is really bringing untold truth to the masses.

      2. It’s all good Sue. The rules are the rules and you followed them. By the way, what is Daniel afraid of? Standing up to Melnyk is not a bad thing.

    2. Hello again Sue! Having fun coming up with these names or does it legitimately make you feel better?

  10. When someone says it is “off the record”, it should taken as Gospel. He obviously told you that for a reason, yet you disrespected his trust. There may be a reason you are no longer employed as a legitimate journalist. Enjoy your five minutes of fame even though it was shameful and you should know better. Legitimate journalists must be cringing and wondering if they will be trusted but sources in the future.

  11. Susan, I echo the thoughts that have been written in relation to your judgement. Your attempt to smear Mr. Alfredsson for personal glory was unprofessional. You should be ashamed of your unethical behaviour and shut down your blog.

  12. Dont let the fake activists get you down Sue, thats the problem – people have short memory when Melnyk saved the Senators. Never in the history campaign rallys has anyone ever been interviewed in the public & asked for “off the record”. The reason Alfredson is complaining, think about how bad this looks on his character – take the high road next time Alfie. The folks bashing Sue should stop because this is what we need when so much of the information is diluted.

    Keep it up!

  13. I am sad you had to do this…Alfie is a well respected man and you can argue “the rules” but in the end, you had a choice to be classy and respectful or to be a bottom feeder journalist and I feel like you chose wrong. I don’t dislike you for it as I have always had a love hate relationship with your columns for many years. You were always able to write in a way that evoked emotion with your opinions, however this time just seems a bit lowbrow and that’s not you.
    I am guessing this will be the last Senators interview we will be seeing here.

  14. Melnyk is a Zombie owner, and could not care one wit about his business write-off.
    The Ottawa Senators are a Zombie NHL Franchise worth next to nothing marketing wise.
    Melnyk can’t sell the team because it’s a ball-and-chain malivestment that I’ll bet he wishes he never invested in to begin with.

    Go Leafs!

    RW

  15. What I can’t believe is that you feel you did nothing wrong based on a technicality. And why is this such groundbreaking news? It’s not the Pelican Brief for gawds sake! You could have let it lie and done Alfredsson, the Senators, and this city, a favour; maybe even sussed out a real story. Instead you stirred up a bunch of low level shit because of your journalistic “integrity”. Guess your humanity takes second place to that. Glad to see your relegated to this spot only.

  16. Looks like we have a Alfie circle jerk going here. You’d think he was the next coming of Christ the way some people are talking here. He’s a retired hockey player who should have known better and now people are dumping on Sue. It’s like the Mitic thing all over again. Except Mitic is more of an asshole. What you did was fair and transparent. No one forced or tricked Alfie into saying anything. Would anyone be complaining if this was someone else?

    Ignore the haters Sue. The only reason they came here was that they felt triggered. I doubt they dump on Postmedia and the other outlets that picked it up.

    Keep up the good work!

  17. Sorry – you screwed up on this. If it’s off the record, IT’S OFF THE RECORD.
    My hope is that no one will want to talk to you again, on or off the record.
    Also hoping that CFRA doesn’t have you back on the air….speaking of which, have another smoke.

  18. I understand that the rules are rules but I think our society is focused on “doing things right” instead of “doing the right thing”. In a situation like that, I think you could have used your judgement and see that he made a slip of the tongue and that it wasn’t something he wanted to announce to the world. That said, it was his mistake and you are right, you were well within your rights to do what you did.

    A bad call I think but again, you were withing your rights. Personally I don’t really care what Alfredsson thinks about Melnyk as it amounts to the kind of stuff I can read on TMZ. So and so, thinks so and so is bad for X. While not gossip, it feels like a level only slightly above it.

    What will come from this? Will Melnyk step down now that Alfredsson has said this (low probability)? Will he step down because this comment will create a groundswell movement to get him to leave(low probability)? Or will it have an impact on Alfredsson and his role within the organization (more likely)? Maybe it’s because I feel bad for Alfredsson in this situation even though he didn’t follow the correct set of rules.

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