At last, there’s something resembling good news coming out of Ottawa.
The subject of league wide controversy, it was revealed Friday June 15th that Ottawa Senators assistant general manager Randy Lee has been suspended indefinitely in the face of second degree harassment charges following an incident on May 30th, and consequently suspended by the Senators organisation.
His court date was initially set to be held June 22nd, the first day of the two day long NHL draft. After entering a not guilty plea, the date was later changed to July 6th.
It’s reported that the incident consisted of Lee rubbing the shoulders of a nineteen year old shuttle driver and making lewd comments, and continuing after being told to stop. If he is found guilty, Lee could face a fine and up to fifteen days jail time.
The NHL’s Bill Daley stated that it would be up to the Ottawa Senators themselves as to whether or not Lee would be permitted to attend the draft, but as of now, only the suspension has been issued, and it can be assumed that if Lee is let off, he will resume his role as assistant general manager.
Other than the obvious concern of, well, the actual arrest, it raises questions about Lee’s status as GM with the Belleville Senators, Ottawa’s AHL affiliate, and whether this is a first time offence.
The organisation was quick to assure that they are not been aware of any other misconduct from Lee, in a statement released June 15th.
‘Until now, the Senators had never been made aware of a complaint against Randy, whether before or during his 23-year career with the team.’
Suspending Lee is the bare minimum that Senators management could have done, aside from ignoring the incident all together— with some believing that harsher action should have been taken. Others have brought into question how long it took the Senators to decide to suspend him, considering almost half a month has passed since the initial incident.
The suspension applies to all duties within the organisation and as such, Lee will not be attending the entry draft due to be held next Friday and Saturday in Dallas, Texas. Should he be charged as guilty it seems clear that the correct course of action would be to release Lee from the organisation, or at the very least drastically modify and reduce his role.
GM Pierre Dorion mentioned in his statement that further action would depend on the outcome of the trail, so it’s likely we won’t hear anything more on the story until July 6th.
Feature image credit: Hit The Ice