Hearing a player speak his mind is refreshing to see.
That’s what fans want to hear. They want to know what is going through the mind of their favorite players. They especially want to know when it comes to something that directly impacts the makeup of their favorite team.
Enter the Columbus Blue Jackets. Current Minnesota defenseman Mike Reilly recently chose to sign with the Wild as a free agent, instead of signing with the team that drafted him, the Blue Jackets.
The move itself came as no surprise. Under the terms of the CBA, players like Reilly have the right to exercise free agency. Reilly did nothing wrong. However, some prominent Blue Jackets players had some things to say about his decision.
First up was Ryan Johansen. He delivered a brutally honest take about the situation.
We didn't want him anyway
— Ryan Johansen (@RyanJohansen19) June 17, 2015
It’s straight and to the point. It’s also refreshing to see. Many athletes tend to keep things to themselves. Johansen was not bashful in tweeting his thoughts. In this case, it shows two things.
First, any thoughts of Johansen not wanting to play for Columbus given his contract situation last summer are out the window. Second, teammates love seeing this. Johansen is defending his team. His teammates will see the tweet, and he will, in turn, earn respect from them.
Johansen wasn’t the only one with strong thoughts on Reilly. Brandon Dubinsky chimed in with some holiday thoughts of his own.
Dubinsky didn’t hold back any punches with this tweet. He openly declared there were “burnt bridges”. He also believes, as he should, that the Blue Jackets would have been a better choice than the Wild. But then he ends the tweet by saying that Reilly’s former college “sucks.”
Dubinsky wears his heart on his sleeves. He will tell you exactly how he feels about something. From a team aspect, this is a refreshing take. He’s telling us what Johansen told us; Columbus was the better choice. The Blue Jackets wanted Reilly. He chose a different team. It’s now personal.
Where the comments may have a crossed a line is when Dubinsky said that the “Gophers suck.” If you consider that other Blue Jackets prospects went to the University of Minnesota, I’m not sure this was a good choice of words. To say that the whole school sucks because of one player, is not something I would have said.
But it doesn’t end there. A fan tweeted back at Dubinsky as a result of his original tweet. Dubinsky responded.
This conversation happened around 2am. It’s one thing to share a strong opinion about a situation. It’s another to go after a fan. Some will question the professionalism of a tweet such as this. One prominent writer did just that.
Some players should have a Twitter curfew
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 5, 2015
Russo questioned Dubinsky’s second tweet, which was the response to the fan.
Is it good for athletes to share their opinions on public matters? Of course it is. But there is a level of professionalism that needs to be maintained at all times. What Johansen did was great. What Dubinsky did was great … to a point. However, I don’t think he should have engaged the fan the way he did.
Time for you to decide. What are your thoughts on Johansen’s and Dubinsky’s tweets about Reilly? Share your thoughts below.
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and NHL Draft. The 2022-23 season will mark nine seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the site’s Credentials Manager. Please take note of the updated Twitter handle: @mark_scheig.