'Why are you so pissy, Leon?': Oilers star, Hall of Fame reporter trade heated exchange
Oilers all-star forward Leon Draisaitl smirked, shrugged and traded insults with a journalist after practice Wednesday in an exchange that was shared far and wide.
The Oilers haven't won a game in a month, since Dec. 18 in Seattle.
The team has lost 12 of their last 14 games, and after answering questions from another reporter, Draisaitl clearly wasn't in the mood to take inquiries from Postmedia Journalist Jim Matheson.
"What do you think is the number one reason for the losses now? Is there one thing in your mind that you're thinking, "We gotta get better at that'?" Matheson asked.
"Yeah, we have to get better at everything," Draisaitl answered with a wave of his hand.
"Would you like to expand on that?" Matheson pressed.
"Nope. You can do that. You know everything," Draisaitl shot back.
"Why are you so pissy?" Matheson responded.
"I'm not, I'm just answering…" Draisaitl said before he was cut off.
"Yeah, you are. Whenever I ask you a question," Matheson said.
"I gave you an answer," Draisaitl responded.
Matheson asked if it was a "good thing" that he showed his frustration on the ice and Draisaitl responded with a sarcastic, "Yeah, it's a great thing, for sure."
The media person off-camera ended the questioning and Draisaitl smiled, then got up and walked away.
'USUALLY IT HAPPENS WHEN NO CAMERA IS ON'
Matheson, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF) in 2000 as a media honoree, was then trending on Twitter along with Draisaitl, the Oilers and HHOF.
Ryan Rishaug, Edmonton's TSN bureau chief, pointed out that it's not the first time Draisaitl has been criticised for his conduct on the ice and when dealing with reporters.
"Draisaitl does have a history of delivering dismissive answers at times but he had been much much better this season. It's clear he's made an effort to engage more. That was until things came off the rails for the team, and I think it's fair to say frustration has crept back in to the picture," Rishaug tweeted.
The interaction also didn't surprise TSN 1260 host Jason Gregor, who said this sort of spat happens in hockey.
"Players, coaches and management have had disagreements with individual media members for decades. Usually it happens when no camera is on. The Matheson/Draisaitl was quite calm relatively...not even a swear word. People will disagree and argue at times," Gregor tweeted.
Back at the radio station, the vast majority of fans who texted and called sided with Draisaitl. Despite the Oilers' recent struggles, he leads the NHL with 54 points.
"Fans right now are mad at the media. They're mad at Jim Matheson. They defend their players," TSN 1260's Matthew Iwanyk said, adding only a few fans that reached out thought the player went too far.
Still, Iwanyk thought Matheson was asking fair questions and he believes fans deserve some real answers for the team's slide, including from its best players, Connor McDavid and Draisaitl.
"They're pulling their weight, largely. But the coach deserves criticism. Ken Holland deserves criticism, it's going up the chain all the way to ownership. All of them deserve the tough questions right now, or the criticism, because they're losing."
The Oilers are scheduled to host the Florida Panthers next, Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. MT.