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Reporter reflects on relationship between athletes, media after testy exchange with Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl – Global News

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A veteran Edmonton sports reporter whose career has seen him be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame says he believes it’s more difficult for journalists to smooth things over when there’s friction with an athlete than it used to be.

“It’s not supposed to be an adversarial relationship between the media and the players,” Postmedia writer Jim Matheson told Reid Wilkins of 630 CHED’s Inside Sports radio program on Tuesday night. “I’ve been doing this a long time. I think I’m very fair at what I do.”

Matheson’s name was trending on Twitter for much of the day after a tense exchange at a post-practice media availability with Leon Draisaitl, one of the Edmonton Oilers‘ two superstar centres.


Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl (29) celebrates his goal against the Arizona Coyotes with Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz.


(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

“Obviously, something I’ve written or said has ticked him off, but I have no idea what that is,” Matheson said.

“It’s not the most pleasant situation to be honest.”

Matheson asked the German-born Draisaitl questions after the Oilers practised at Edmonton’s Rogers Place on Tuesday about the team being mired in a weeks-long funk after a dominant start to their NHL season.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers collapse in third and lose to Senators

The journalist, who has covered the Oilers for about 40 years, asked Draisaitl if, amid the team’s second six-game losing streak, he had thought the team was past getting into such slumps after the Oilers’ last two regular seasons were quite successful.

“Sure. Yeah,” Draisaitl said.

Matheson then asked Draisaitl for his thoughts on what the biggest reason is for the team’s recent losses and what the one thing is he thinks is most important for the team to improve on.

“Yeah, we have to get better at everything,” Draisaitl replied.

“Would you like to expand on that?” Matheson countered.

“No,” Draisaitl answered. “You can do that. You know everything.”

At that point, Matheson decided to ask Draisaitl why he was being so “pissy.” Draisaitl said he was simply answering the questions and Matheson suggested they weren’t very “good” answers.

“I have one more for you,” Matheson then said. “Leon, you show your frustration on the ice last game against Ottawa. Is that a good thing when you show it so the other team knows you’re frustrated?”

“Yeah it’s a great thing for sure,” Draisaitl answered.

After his answer, a voice in the background of the media availability can be heard saying, “I think we’re done.”

Matheson said he was aware the exchange blew up on social media almost immediately after it happened but pointed out that as a journalist, he does not want to be part of the story.

“And when I write my story tomorrow, I will not be the story either,” he said. “I will just say that Leon wasn’t very illuminating with his answers.”

The Oilers’ recent struggles have been compounded by the fact the team will have gone through a stretch this month of only playing one game in 15 days as an indirect consequence of pandemic-related public health restrictions. Some players have suggested having to stew in their problems as they wait to get their season back on track has been difficult.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers return to Rogers Place for first time with new COVID-19 restrictions in place

Matheson told Wilkins that coincidentally, the pandemic may also indirectly be making it more difficult to smooth things over with a player when there is friction between him and a reporter.

“Things aren’t the way they used to be and they need to go back to the old days,” he said Tuesday night. “If I was having a disagreement with a player, you could sit beside him in the dressing room and say, ‘Have I done something to upset you? Tell me what it is and I can try to make it better if it’s something I said or did.’”

Matheson said if the player feels he is deserved an apology and he can understand why, he has no problem offering him one.

“I’ve written some things over the years… where you’ve tossed off some gratuitous shot which seemed like a cheap shot at a player and then you go to bed at night and you sleep and you toss and turn and you get up in the morning and you say, ‘That wasn’t very nice of me,’” he said. “And then the next day at practice, you go up to a player and you say, ‘I’m sorry, that wasn’t a very nice thing to say,’ and you can apologize and go on from there.

“But that’s not the way it works now in today’s NHL… because with COVID, you don’t get into the dressing room and so you can’t sit beside a player and say, ‘Look, have I done something to upset you?’”


Jim Matheson poses in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Monday Nov. 13, 2000. Matheson will be inducted into the Hall and will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award during a ceremony Monday night.


(CP PHOTO/Frank Gunn)

Wilkins said he reached out to the Oilers to ask if Draisaitl wanted to appear on his program as he was going to speak with Matheson about the awkward media availability. He said the Oilers politely declined to make him available, saying they felt he did not need to rehash what was said.

“I thought I asked a couple of softball questions to start with,” Matheson said, noting that another Oiler answered many of the same questions on Tuesday without one-word answers.

“But Leon didn’t want to answer the question, so he just said, ‘Everything.’ OK. I thought it was just a normal, ‘Would you like to expand on that?’ and he said, ‘no.’ And that’s when I said, ‘Look, I’m getting one word answers, so…’”

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland believes team will turn it around

While Matheson said he would like the opportunity to talk to Draisaitl to see if there is something he has done to upset him, he does not regret asking the NHL’s 2020 Hart Trophy winner why he was being “pissy.”

“If I walk away and just take what he said, then I don’t look very good, so I was just standing up for myself,” he said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Police ID suspect after threat on social media against Bowmanville school – CBC.ca

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A suspect has been identified after a threat was posted on social media against Clarington Central Secondary High School in Bowmanville, Durham Regional Police say.

Police say the suspect is a male from outside the region. No information has been released about the nature of the threat.

Officers were present at the school east of Toronto on Friday to ensure the safety of students and staff.

By the afternoon, police said in a tweet that investigators determined there were no safety concerns.

The threat against the school was made Thursday night, police say.

The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.

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Police investigating threatening social media post captured near Pointe-Claire school – CTV News Montreal

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Montreal police were on site at John Rennie High School Thursday after threatening images were posted to social media, which may have featured a firearm.

The post included two images: the first showed what appeared to be the side of the school. The second image depicted a young man holding what appeared to be a firearm in an unknown location. 

Police say the post is related to a conflict between two people who have yet to be identified, and that they were likely going to meet at the school. The threats were not directed toward the school itself. 

Police got a call reporting the post at around 9:40 a.m.

Students remained in class while officers stationed themselves at the school. The board notified parents of the situation and asked them not to pick up their kids.  

School board officials said in an internal note to parents that “at no point were staff or students in danger.”

School officials decided to send students home in the early afternoon as officers continued their investigation. Some were bussed out of school property at around 1 p.m.

Police say their firearm division is trying to learn more about the threats. There have been no arrests.

In a statement released later in the day, the Lester B. Pearson School Board thanked the police for acting quickly.

“Today’s incident was extremely regrettable and troubling,” the board said.

“We are extremely relieved and thankful for the prompt and thorough response of law enforcement and the professional way our staff managed the situation.”

A school spokesperson confirmed classes would resume Friday morning. 

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Media Advisory: Minister Osborne to Speak at YMCA Annual Enterprise Olympics Conference – News Releases – Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

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The Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Education, will bring remarks at the YMCA Annual Enterprise Olympics Conference today (Friday, May 27).

The event takes place at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel, 5 Navigator Avenue, St. John’s at 12:30 p.m.

Enterprise Olympics is a program that encourages the growth of entrepreneurial thinking among students and teachers and provides a quality experience for young people considering careers in entrepreneurship.

– 30 –

Media contact
Tina Coffey
Education
709-729-1906, 687-9903
tcoffey@gov.nl.ca

2022 05 27
9:05 am

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