Last week, Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson made his weekly radio appearance with 106.7 The Fan’s Chad Dukes and briefly addressed his thoughts on the departure of former Capitals forward Brendan Leipsic, who was released on May 8 after misogynistic and vulgar messages were leaked on social media two days prior.
Carlson “politely tiptoed” around the topic. “I think that in each case it’s different,” he answered in reference to a player who was caught trashing teammates. “I think the surrounding parts matter a lot in that scenario, and just speaking to that specific thing, I think we’re all men and professionals in what we do.”
He continued by saying, “Nothing is easy when you get 25 guys together in that type of atmosphere, I would say. There’s obviously disagreements all the time and a lot of stuff we don’t know about. [There have] definitely been difficult spells for guys that I’ve seen over the years that have put it aside and worked through it.”
The situation could have been worse if it came to light while the season was still in progress, according to Carlson. Players would constantly be asked about it by the media. “I think that would definitely have been a distraction and there’s nothing good to take out of it other than the fact that we weren’t playing at the time.”
Dukes asked Carlson “how surprised” he was of the offensive, lewd, and even racist remarks Leipsic made in the chat. “I’d prefer not to comment on that. That’s not my place,” the 30-year-old defenseman said. “He was a teammate of mine and I’ll just leave it at that.”
You can listen to the quick interview here:
On May 6, Leipsic’s private Instagram messages were leaked on social media. Screenshots showed vulgar and degrading language regarding women and former and current teammates. His Instagram account is no longer active. The 25-year-old tweeted a poor apology, claiming his friend’s Instagram account was hacked.
Per a team spokesperson, the Capitals quickly learned of Leipsic’s comments and were going to “handle this matter internally.” The NHL also issued a statement on May 6. Florida Panthers’ prospect Jack Rodewald was also a part of the chat. The Panthers condemned his actions a few days later.
The University of Manitoba Bisons Men’s Hockey Team released Jeremy Leipsic, the brother of Brendan Leipsic, after taking part in the misogynistic and explicit messages, the University’s athletic director Gene Muller announced on May 7. Muller said in a statement, “We condemn any such remarks and attitudes as they are offensive, reprehensible, and have absolutely no place in our sport or in our programs.”
Leipsic was on his fifth team in the past five years. He signed a one-year, one-way contract worth $700K on July 1 with the Capitals. Prior to Washington, he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vegas Golden Knights, Vancouver Canucks, and Los Angeles Kings. On May 8, the Capitals placed Leipsic on unconditional waivers for the purpose of contract termination. He cleared waivers the following day and is currently an unrestricted free agent.
By Della Young