The Canadian hockey media have a bit of a reputation when it comes to their critical coverage of various star players. Phil Kessel’s time with the Toronto Maple Leafs could be the perfect case study on how the media can assist in driving a talented player out of town.
Jordan Eberle doesn’t possess the same kind of profile or talent as Kessel, but he too may be another example of how the media in Canada played a significant role in a player’s career.
As seen on Sportsnet.ca, Eberle bashed the media in Edmonton, stating that they ruined his confidence while he was playing with the Edmonton Oilers. Now that he’s with the New York Islanders, Eberle didn’t hold back, criticizing their approach.
“The Edmonton media can be pretty brutal and your confidence goes and this is a game you can’t play if you don’t have confidence. It’s that simple. It’s the Edmonton Oilers and everything around it. When you read articles every day about how much you suck, it’s tough.”
When asked why he didn’t try to ignore the media bashing, Eberle responded that it’s simply not possible.
“You can’t. It affects you and I lost my confidence. The biggest thing for me since I got here with the Islanders, is trying to get that back.”
After scoring 20 goals in 82 games in Edmonton during the 2016-17 season, Eberle is apparently regaining some of his confidence with nine goals in 23 games so far in 2017-18.
What does the media think of Eberle’s comments? They’re a bit salty.
If I am a GM and I have a player whose game is ruined because of a few articles – none of which come remotely close to being as critical as what those same writers face here on Twitter — I move him.
Can't win with those players. Mentally weak.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) November 25, 2017
With great power comes great responsibility. That’s a lesson sports media as a whole may need to remember.