MONTREAL - If there is one city in the NHL where the glare of the media is still white hot, especially when anything controversial happens, it's Montreal. Absolutely nothing goes unnoticed here when it comes to the NHL, even if it happened way across the vast Canadian landscape, as Nathan MacKinnon's outburst toward his coach was on the bench the other night, in Calgary.
A media horde standing roughly four deep encircled MacKinnon's locker after Avalanche practice here Friday, curious how the star center would respond, two days after he was caught on camera barking at coach Jared Bednar at the end of a 5-3 loss.
For those who wanted the controversy to continue, for this Avalanche season to turn into the hockey version of "The Young and the Restless", there was bad news. MacKinnon said he was sorry, Bednar said he never took it personally and there were smiles all around. Nothing to see here. Move on. Well, not quite.
For the 23-year-old MacKinnon, this could be the kind of teaching moment that helps accelerate his maturation process. It was a fresh reminder that players of his stature are always under the klieg lights, whether they realize it or not.
"That's unacceptable on my part. I can't be doing that stuff," MacKinnon said. "I was just really frustrated, but I love playing for Bedsy. Everyone loves playing for Bedsy in here. That's on me, and I take responsibility for it."
MacKinnon said the disagreement stemmed from a difference of opinion about pulling the goalie.