With his team mired in a 10-game losing skid, Sudbury Wolves coach Paul Fixter and a reporter got into a profanity-laced yelling match Wednesday night.
If you’re a football fan, you know the best coach tirades don’t always come from the professional ranks. Ask Mike Gundy. And while the likes of John Tortorella get the headlines in the NHL, major junior can provide us with gems, too.
Tuesday night was a tough one for the Sudbury Wolves, who lost 7-2 to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyounds. The season has been nothing short of hellish for the Wolves, who are 1-10-0 and have lost 10 straight since winning their opener. They’ve been outscored 49-19.
Coach Paul Fixter decided he was simply fed up while answering post-game questions from reporters. The first interviewer, CTV’s Lincoln Louttit, grinds his way through few awkward silences, trying to get Fixter’s thoughts on the obvious: that he’s frustrated with his team’s play. But the real fireworks start around the 0:55 mark when off-camera interviewer Peter Ruicci of the Sault Star questions the team’s work ethic:
Who takes the blame here? I’d say both sides. It’s an escalation issue. Fixter is confrontational from the start, but Peter douses the fire with gas by getting angry: “DID YOU WORK HARD!?” Then the F-Bombs begin flying. Stick tap to Behind the Net’s Neate Sager for noting that Ruicci commented on the incident in his game story:
A visibly upset Paul Fixter admitted how frustrated he was.
I don’t like losing, it sucks, said the Wolves head coach. “We s— the bed in the second period.”
Apparently in little mood to be questioned, Fixter said, “F— off,” when asked a second time about his team’s worth ethic. “We worked OK for 20 minutes tonight.”
It was actually “F— you,” Peter, but who’s keeping score? For a bit of additional context, it’s worth noting Ruicci had been critical of the Wolves and their handling of the owner’s son, Connor Burgess, as a player in a recent column. It’s an issue our own Ken Campbell addressed recently, too. So there may have been existing bad blood brewing between Fixter and Ruicci.
Whatever the reason for the spat, here’s hoping and betting cooler heads prevail the next time these two lock horns.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin