On Tuesday we passed along some quotes from Ottawa Senators forward Kyle Turris regarding his time in Finland during the NHL lockout (we mistakenly said that he was still playing in Finland -- he's actually already returned to North America).
In an interview with Jordan Winnett for the Glode and Mail, Turris made it sound like he didn't necessarily enjoy his time with Karpat due to the travel (long bus rides), the food (truck stop buffets for pregame meals), and the interviews (having to use hand signals because nobody could understand him through the language barrier).
They were candid comments, no doubt, but nothing too over the top for a 23-year-old living in a new country and trying to adjust to a new way of doing things.
On Wednesday, Turris issued a statement through Karpat's team website essentially backtracking on the comments.
To whom it may concern:
I read an article in the Globe and Mail today regarding my experience in Oulu. It made me extremely upset that it was so negative, and that it had very inaccurate and untrue information. I really enjoyed my time in Oulu, and those who are around me know that. I want to make clear that the sole reason I left is because of personal reasons that required me to be home with my family. The entire Oulu organization treated me very well, and I feel terrible that people may now feel that I was not grateful to be a part of the organization. I know that I was very lucky to play for such an awesome organization that welcomed me with open arms and treated us very well. Everyone I met in Finland, the coaches, management, fans and people of Oulu were all very nice and made my time there a memorable one. I was also lucky to have great teammates, with whom I have made good friendships. For all this I am very thankful and wish the Karpat organization great success in the future.
What's interesting about his clarification -- to me, anyway -- is that he spent most of it talking about how he was grateful to be a part of the organization and meet a lot of wonderful people and how he didn't want anyone to think otherwise.
I didn't take his initial comments to be a slam on the organization or the people around him at all. They simply sounded like a young person (in the case of Turris, a 23-year-old) coming from a different culture and country and having a hard time adjusting to life and a job in a foreign country.
He wasn't slamming the organization; he was talking about the food, the less-than-ideal travel situation, and not being able to communicate with people.
I wouldn't really enjoy any of that, either.
He's apologizing for something he shouldn't have to apologize for.