Just over a month after slamming Alexander Semin during a live broadcast on Day 1 of NHL free agency, it appears that former NHL coach turned TSN analyst turned Swiss coach, Marc Crawford is now singing a different tune.
No, he did not apologize to Mr. Semin or his fans.
Instead, according to Crawford, those listening and watching as he proclaimed the Russian winger to have "no character", got it wrong.
In an interview with Switzerland's Tages Anzeiger (ST RMNB), Crawford completely deflected responsibility for his part in an eyebrow-raising one-minute rant in which Semin was said to be a "complete loser", "not a great teammate" and "the ultimate coach killer".
Here's the translation:
TA: You designated the Russian Alexander Semin as characterless on TSN. What is character strength for you?
Crawford: My quote about Semin was misunderstood. He was compared with Zach Parise, who is one of the best. Semin is a wonderful player, but he still has a lot to learn. And I wish him only the best. To your question: character strength has a lot to do with consistency, good habits, professionalism.
Huh. Now those quotes above were translated by yours truly. While German is my second language, English is my first and Crawford seems to have a solid handle on it as well. So it seems strange to me that I don't quite get, "Semin is a wonderful player," from, "One guy (Parise) has a ton of character, one guy (Semin) has no character. One guy (Semin) scores 30 goals and doesn't help his team, one guy (Parise) scores 25 goals and helps them in every single way." I'm also not sure how assassinating a player's character on public airwaves on the first official day of his new job hunt equates to, "I wish him well."
But maybe that's just me.
My real problem is this: everyone has opinions (founded or unfounded) and everyone has a choice on whether they want to share those opinions. We in the media have a responsibility to get things right. An opinion is an opinion. It doesn't need to be based on fact and is up to the individual to define, stand by or change. If Crawford wants to change his public verbiage on Semin, that's his prerogative. But don't, sir, insult your audience by telling them they heard you wrong.
Makes me wonder how Crawford would rate his own character, based on his definition of character strength above.
What's your take? Check the video below and tell us if you initially just "misunderstand" his comments.