Yesterday, Boston Bruins announcer Jack Edwards appeared on BaD Radio on The Ticket and let's just say it was a very interesting interview. For those unfamiliar with Edwards, he's known as perhaps the most homerrific announcer in the NHL and every time the Stars play the Bruins, he le's it be known of his hate and contempt for our very own Steve Ott.
Obviously, some choice words were launched towards Ott and how he feels about the antagonistic forwards. Jack Edwards accused Steve Ott of saying some "unprofessional" words towards some female fans in Boston way back in 2008 and Edwards wasn't exactly a big fan Ott because of it. If you remember, Ott and Sean Avery were at the epicenter for a complete breakdown in Boston and were eventually kicked from the game. This incident that he mentions happened after the two left the ice.
Edwards also said that the opening fight last year between Ott and Gregory Campbell was because of a "blatant dirty hit that could have broken Campbell's neck" that occurred a few years back. (Here's the video -- Ott admitted himself it was charging but it's clear it was a hit right in the chest).
Edwards, however, says that there are "stories from all around the NHL" about Steve Ott and how there are players out there constantly seeking revenge for his dirty plays and says he would never want him to play for the "black and gold". He had many other things to say about Ott, so I suggest listening to the full interview before continuing...
Now, this whole thing is an interesting case study of how Steve Ott is viewed around the NHL as well as just how much influence a big media personality like Jack Edwards has on the perception of players like Ott on hockey fans. No matter how funny or over the top you think Edwards can be, the fact is he has some very harsh things to say that further the thought that Ott is one of the "dirtiest" players in the NHL.
What's interesting is that for those of us that watch Ott every single game with know this isn't the case. What's more interesting is just how far Edwards went during this interview to further this agenda -- and it's disturbing how much of it just was plain wrong. Absolutely wrong.
Coincidentally, Ott appeared for his regular weekly show this afternoon on Bad Radio.
After talking to Ott about the 24/7 shenanigans, the talk turned right to what Edwards had said -- specifically about Ott apparently saying some very disturbing things to some females in the stands. Edwards backed this up by saying he received this information from two trusted sources that work for the arena in Boston. Ott didn't exactly remember it how Edwards described it.
"I can't remember anything I'd say to a fan that would be too derogatory that would have hurt her feelings or his feelings and I'm sure anything I said was on the same level of what was being given," Ott said on The Ticket.
Ott pointed out, backed up by Bob Sturm, that it was in fact Sean Avery who had the big issue with the fans there in Boston after they were booted from the game. I'm sure that Ott wasn't exactly calm after leaving the ice, but there is one thing we all know about him -- no matter what he does on the ice he's one of the nicest and most generous players in the NHL when it comes to the fans.
The fact that Edwards continues to use this incident as proof of why he despises Ott so much, and he brings it up again and again -- and I'm sure he'll mention it on the broadcast tomorrow night -- is disturbing since it is most likely not true. That's the issue when you have people with a public voice spouting off opinion as fact.
As far as the hit on Gregory Campbell and the ensuing fight last season in Boston, this is what fighting is for. Campbell wanted to settle the score for a charging play against him (Ott admitted it was likely charging and he was penalized for it) but for Edwards to come out and say it could have broken Campbell's neck is just another example of using hyperbole to try and smear another player.
In this day and age, saying something like "it was a hit that could have broken his neck" seems like it would be describing one of the most disturbing and tremendous hits you'd ever see. Instead, while it was charging, it was a clean hit that landed right in the middle of Campbell's chest.
He's continuously referred to Ott as a "knee-seeking scud" and is a "weakling and a coward", which is far, far from the truth and while Ott certainly walks a thin line he's far from the horrible and horrendous player that Edwards describes. What is truly amazing is how Edwards can say these things about Ott and others, but as soon as the Bruins players step up and start fighting or playing physical he's laughing about the damage being handed out by the physical and sometimes dirty team he covers.
I can understand the fans feeling a certain way about Ott -- and frankly, I think he loves it. It was he thrives on as a hockey player. But to hear someone with the influence of Edwards not only go overboard toward Ott during games, but to follow that up with half-truths and extreme hyperbole that supposedly justifies his choice of words is frankly sickening.
To his credit, Ott played off the whole issue just fine and made mention that he had yet to see Edwards come to the locker room to confront him about these issues. Ott laughed about this and the "hate" he receives from all over the NHL, knowing full well that we here in Dallas support him and know that while he may cross the line at times on the ice he's about as great as the come once the game is over.
Ott also mentioned how great it was that the Stars have Ralph and Razor - I'd say we'd all have to agree with that.