There’s a lot of hand wringing going on out there about both the content, and the delivery of Murray’s recent comments concerning Jason Spezza. Some feel he should have just kept his mouth shut.
But, honestly, was that really a better option?
Imagine for a second what would have been the fall-out of replying “No comment” if asked about the status of Jason Spezza.
The rumours would have been re-doubled, the anti Spezza hooligans would have clung to the ambiguity like a Holy Grail of turmoil, and the media would have used innuendo and half truths to create drama in a soulless effort to sell more papers.
In other words, pretty much an identical reaction to what happened after he did speak!
Now, as most readers know, I happen to like Murray as a GM. I believe he has been pro-active in shaping this club into a legitimate contender, he has been willing to take risks in an effort to improve the teams short-term results, and he brings a strong background in hockey management. But don’t get me wrong, I’m no Murray sycophant, he doesn’t walk on water, he has made mistakes, and will do so in the future, just like the rest of us. But in this situation, he was damned if you do, damned if you don’t. And that reality, to a large part, rests in the hands of the media. Murray can’t control what is written, he can’t force the media to put integrity and professionalism ahead of selling a few extra copies.
The fact is, when Murray didn’t comment on Spezza’s trade status, the media inferred their innuendo, so why not be frank, tell the truth, and hope those who listen to his words, in their entirety, for themselves, have the intelligence to draw their own balanced conclusions?
Is Spezza upset at the public commentary by Murray? Maybe, I honestly do not know. But I highly doubt he was impressed with the medias handling of his career up to this point, Murray comments or no.
Murray making public comments, IMO, is a red herring. The abuse of privilege, by the media, in fomenting a fictitious impending cataclysm between Spezza and the Ottawa Senators is the real issue. It is this caustic environment which will drive the wedge between the Ottawa Senators and top tier talent, not the supposed loose lips of a particular GM.
Having hockey coverage is wonderful, we all want it, but as the customers of this media, it is our responsibility to ensure its existence is not at odds with the foundation of our interest, the team itself. I do not watch hockey so as to have a reason to read the newspaper, or listen to sports radio, so I’ll be damned if I’ll let the media put my interest, the Senators, at risk, so they can turn a bigger profit, at MY expense.