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'Nothing is off the record,' Leafs coach says of Senators Uber video

A screen grab of a dash-cam video showing Ottawa Senators players making disparaging comments about their team and assistant coach. POSTMEDIA/ottawacitizen.com

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock has spent years guiding young hockey players on the ice. On Tuesday, he shared some pertinent advice on how they should conduct themselves off the ice.

When asked about the recent controversy surrounding the Ottawa Senators after video was leaked showing several players making disparaging remarks about their team during an Uber ride in Phoenix last month, Babcock didn’t seem too sympathetic.

“Anytime anyone says to you, ‘This is off the record,’ nothing is off the record in your life, so let’s get that straight,” he said. “The second thing is everywhere you go there’s someone taking your picture or a camera’s on and you know that as well. You can call it an invasion of privacy, sure. But is that not what we all live with every single day?”

The players — Thomas Chabot, Dylan DeMelo, Matt Duchene, Alex Formenton, Chris Tierney, Chris Wideman and Colin White — released a statement Tuesday apologizing for mocking assistant coach Martin Raymond.

“We want to apologize publicly to Marty Raymond, our teammates and coaches for our comments in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 29,” read the statement emailed to The Canadian Press.

“Our private conversation was recorded without our knowledge or consent. We’re passionate about our team, and focusing on growing together. We are grateful for the support of our fans and organization. This is an important learning experience, and we will do better.”

The viral video, which was reportedly recorded by an Uber driver with a dash-cam, has raised questions about expectations of privacy for Uber passengers.

Uber Canada General Manager Rob Khazzam addressed those concerns in a series of tweets late Monday night.

“A video was released by the media today of several Uber passengers being filmed without their consent while having a private discussion during a trip in Phoenix. This is a clear violation of our terms of service and we worked vigorously to investigate this issue,” he tweeted.

“Filming or recording passengers without their consent is totally unacceptable and if reported/detected we will investigate and take action to preserve our communities privacy and integrity. In this specific case, we made efforts to have the video taken down.”

In the video the players mock Raymond’s coaching work, specifically with the team’s penalty killing, which is ranked 29th in the league.

In a statement, Senators head coach Guy Boucher said the team has “every confidence in Marty Raymond’s coaching, in the effort and determination of our team, and in the sincerity of our players’ apology.

“We are now treating this as a team matter and will be making no further comment to the media.”