If you’re a fan of the Ottawa Senators — and I’ll assume you are because you’re spending your Thursday reading this — you’re all too familiar with off-ice turmoil. Be it twice-departed Daniel Alfredsson, the seemingly endless trades of beloved players, and sound bites on Toronto radio, it appears that there’s always something to be embarrassed about.
It is, unfortunately, a saga that doesn’t seem poised to end any time soon. All that and more in the Thursday edition of Links, News, and Notes.
- If you haven’t heard by now, Chris Phillips has resigned as executive director of the Ottawa Senators Community Foundation, after spending just 315 days in the role.
As first reported by The Athletic’s Ian Mendes, Phillips confirmed his resignation from the team’s charitable arm, without adding any further comment or clarification.
Over the past few days, there have been rumblings in the charitable sector in Ottawa that changes were afoot with the Senators Community Foundation.— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) June 23, 2021
Chris Phillips has confirmed to me that he’s submitted his resignation from the hockey club.
He declined to comment further.
Brent Wallace of the Wally and Methot show later added that the foundation had been “put on pause”, apparently to cut costs, and that Phillips’ resignation stemmed from a pending reassignment.
I’m told the foundation has been put on “pause” in what sounds like a cost cutting measure. Phillips was being re assigned within the organization before he decided it was best to step away. https://t.co/qk4i3dR6qy— Brent Wallace (@Freeagentwally) June 23, 2021
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also reported that the organization let Senior Director Brad Weir go last week, and that this caused Phillips’ resignation
A bit more on this....last week, Ottawa let go of Brad Weir, hired in September 2020 as senior director of the Senators Community Foundation. It is believed Phillips resigned due to that move. https://t.co/VXBE212AJD— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 23, 2021
Whatever the circumstances, the reality is that this just doesn’t happen in other NHL organizations, and it is yet another ugly chapter in the recent turbulent history of the Ottawa Senators. Through all the heartbreaking departures this organization has witnessed over the past decade, Phillips never wavered.
The fact that he has now can’t mean anything good.
- On Friday night, we will have a Game 7 to determine who goes to the Stanley Cup Final, between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders.
Anthony Beauvillier sends the Islanders to Game 7. Fans celebrate by littering the ice with garbage. pic.twitter.com/xNFqKC2r0e— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) June 24, 2021
Anthony Beauvillier scored 1:08 into overtime to stave off elimination, and earn his Islanders one last chance at obtaining vengeance for last year’s third round defeat, in the form of a 3-2 win. The Isles also saw goals from Jordan Eberle and Scott Mayfield, while Brayden Point and Anthony Cirelli tallied for the Lightning.
Lost in all the fray was an injury to Nikita Kucherov early in the first period, on a nasty crosscheck from Mayfield. Hopefully he can return for the deciding game, and potential Stanley Cup Final berth.
- LGBTQ+ activist Brock McGillis has launched a new project, interviewing queer people who love the game of hockey; getting their take on what makes it great, as well as how it can be better, and more inclusive.
One Interviewer, 100 interviewees: Inside @brock_mcgillis' Massive #LGBTQ+ Inclusivity Project— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) June 23, 2021
Brock caught up with senior writer @THNMattLarkin to discuss his project, the state of inclusivity in hockey today, Carl Nassib coming out in the #NFL and more: https://t.co/sqekgpjFpm
The Hockey News’ Matt Larkin caught up with McGillis, who gave some insight as to the project’s inner workings, and the implications it will carry going forward.
Talk about walking the walk. Brock is as genuine as they come.
- Objectively speaking, the officiating in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs has been an inconsistent mess. The CBC ran a feature on what has been a horrific embarrassment for the NHL.
- Henrik and Daniel Sedin have made their return to the NHL, this time as special advisors to Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning.
This is great news for the Canucks. Two great people, to say nothing of their hockey IQ, that can only benefit the organization going forward.
- We lost one of the greats, this week, as Buffalo Sabres legend Rene Robert passed away at the age of 72.
Robert — a member of the famed French Connection line with Pat Lafontaine and Rick Martin — scored 284 goals and 418 assists for 702 points across 744 NHL games, between the Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Colorado Rockies.
On behalf of the entire Silver Seven crew, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Robert’s loved ones. A legend in every sense of the word.