The Apology Heard ’round Ontario


Jesse Winchester has raised a lot of eyebrows and garnered both applause and criticism for his apparent on-ice apology to Toronto Maple Leaf forward Clarke MacArthur during Saturday night’s Battle of Ontario.

After clipping the Leaf winger in the face on a follow-through, Winchester was called for a penalty.  He skated over towards MacArthur after the whistle.  In most cases you would anticipate a scuffle or altercation, as did the linesmen, who were in quickly.  However, to the shock of most and the dismay of many, you could see Winchester mouth an apology to MacArthur.  MacArthur seemed to accept the apology albeit in a state of shock over the Senators’ centre’s sportsmanship, and Winchester went to the box to serve his 2 minutes.

Opinions have been split over the incident.  Some are lauding Winchester’s sportsmanship and respect for his opponent.  His stick was errant and he meant no ill will towards his opponent on that play, and he was indeed remorseful.

On the other side of the coin, there are those who believe there is no place in the heat of battle for such a show of weakness.  Those people feel that if Winchester felt the need to apologize, that he could get in contact with MacArthur after the game and do it privately.  The apology had no place in a heated rivalry.

At the risk of once again alienating myeslf from Sens Army,  I am in the former group.  I fully believe that players can still be competitive, within the rules of the game.  Battle of Ontario or not, if players showed a little more respect for each other, there wouldn’t be so many players out of lineups around the league with preventable injuries.  If more players took a page out of Jesse Winchester’s book instead of Matt Cooke’s, the game would be more enjoyable to watch, all day, every day.


Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.

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