After hiring him as the CEO just two months ago, the Ottawa Senators have fired Jim Little after he apparently swore at the owner of the team.
The Senators said in a statement that Little was fired for “conduct inconsistent with the core values of the Ottawa Senators and the National Hockey League.” Little, releasing a statement of his own that was tweeted by Elliotte Friedman, said that the reason that he was fired was because of him swearing at Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. (RELATED: Ottawa Senators CEO Hopes Cheaper Beer Will Bring Back Fans)
Statement from Jim Little: pic.twitter.com/a3jQLGDdkl
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 4, 2020
“On Valentine’s Day, the owner and I had a personal disagreement over the approach that I had been pursuing,” Little said. “I am a strong-willed person, and the disagreement included me using some strong language with him over the phone, including some swearing, which he did not appreciate and for which I later apologized. It was these events, to my knowledge, which led to my dismissal. Any other inference from the statement is wrong.”
Bettman asked about this dismissal:
“It’s not what you think,” the Commissioner said.
— Kyle Bukauskas (@SNkylebukauskas) March 4, 2020
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also commented on the issue while attending a general manager meeting in Florida. “It’s not what you think,” Bettman said, “I generally don’t comment on club personnel decisions. It has to do more with internal operations.” He also clarified that the reason for Little’s removal was not because of issues related to the mandatory counseling regarding racism and anti-bullying following the firing of several coaches and officials for that reason.
The Senators are dead last in NHL attendance, averaging just 12,595 fans per game.