The Ottawa Senators continue to make news for odd reasons, the latest being that they’ve fired their newly-appointed CEO Jim Little after only two months on the job.
The reason being given for the change in direction is that Little violated the team’s “conduct inconsistent with the core values” clause of his contract. Other than that, specifics weren’t provided and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman noted at the NHL GM’s meetings, “It’s not what you think.” He added, “I generally don’t comment on club personnel decisions. … It has to do more with internal operations.”
Little later commented on the firing saying he had a heated conversation with Senators’ owner Eugene Melnyk where he claims he used profanity, later apologized, but was released anyway.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Little’s statement included him saying that he was looking forward to helping the Senators but wanted to clarify that he had a personal disagreement with Melynk over the phone regarding the approach he was taking to helping the franchise. He said he was strong-willed in his stance, used some very strong language which Melnyk didn’t appreciate, and to his knowledge, that is why he was released.
The statement and report is interesting because it suggests Melnyk either didn’t appreciate being called into question, that Little was over-reaching on his job description and having been employed, at that time, for only a month, and that he’d forgotten that this was not how any employee should speak to his boss. At the same time, there’s a hint that perhaps Melnyk overreacted and that he wasn’t willing to work things out with his new CEO, possibly seeing the decision to hire Little as a mistake that he felt required correcting.
Some on social media are suggesting Melnyk was far too sensitive, didn’t like someone coming in with a unique approach and canned him, a tactic indicative of the Senators history, more specifically Melynk’s. This, of course, is nothing more than speculation.
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