Lockout hits home for new Senator Marc Methot
Having jerseys taken away only adds to Ottawa native's pain
BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency
|Marc Methot works out at the Ottawa Sports Performance Centre Friday July 27, 2012. (Tony Caldwell/QMI Agency)
OTTAWA - Marc Methot woke up to reality Sunday.
As the newly acquired Senators defenceman and Ottawa native rolled out of bed to clean his house before settling in to watch football, Methot was no longer excited about reporting to training camp Friday or circling the date for the season opener next month.
With the lockout officially under way after the NHL and the NHLPA didn’t even sit down to negotiate at the 11th hour Saturday night, Methot is having a difficult time stomaching the fact he’ll skate Monday without a Senators jersey.
That’s because the Senators were one of several NHL teams that chose to seize the practice jersey from the players before the CBA expired.
“(The union) warned us we were going to have to be given new jerseys,” said Methot, acquired by his hometown team from Columbus for winger Nick Foligno in July. “That might not seem like a big deal to people, but to have your jersey taken away from you is pretty significant. We were warned of all these things.
“Taking away the jersey (was tough). It’s the team you are representing and you’re having it taken from you. But, again, it’s understandable. It’s part of the process. We’ve been treated well throughout the summer in Ottawa with regards to training. They’ve been very good and professional. We just have to carry on now.”
Methot has been excited about getting a chance to play with his new teammates. He’s spent a lot of time skating with the likes of Chris Neil, Mark Borowiecki, Kyle Turris and other Ottawa players who have spent the summer here.
They’ve known getting locked out was a strong possibility since last season ended. That didn’t make it any easier.
“Waking up was a weird feeling,” said Methot. “Every time you get around to this time of year you are really gearing up to play hockey. You’re in as good shape as you could possibly be and you’ve got camp coming up.
“Now, there’s so much uncertainty with what’s going on and it’s becoming more real because of the date and the artificial date that was given to us Saturday. It’s not a great feeling, but it is something that has got to be done.”
After attending NHLPA meetings in New York last week, Methot left with advice from the union to stay ready. The picture might not look good at the moment, but negotiations can change in a minute and nobody should sit back or relax.
“The only thing they told us to, ‘Carry on.’ Keep the routine: Work out, skate, make it work by skating with your team,” said Methot. “Make sure you’re prepared because you never know what’s going to happen.
“It’s always going to seem like during negotiations that both sides are completely far apart from each other. Then, out of nowhere, things could click, we’ll be back to normal and we’ve got a season again. It’s going to look grim right up until we come to a deal and that’s just the harsh reality.”
Right now, Methot just has to deal with the uncertainty by skating with teammates in Kanata for the next little while and will consider playing elsewhere down the road.
“I know it sounds like a cliche because you hear it all the time, but the players really are on board from what I understand compared to the last lockout,” he said. “It’s going to be tough but we have to stay strong as the days progress into weeks and hopefully not months.”