While Little contends he was essentially fired for angrily swearing at Melynk — which generated frustrated amusement among many Senators fans who often blame Melnyk for the team’s rocky performance — the Senators said it was not such a shallow decision.
After the argument and during an investigation into Little’s behaviour, the team discovered that Little’s former spouse published online accounts alleging abusive behaviour during her marriage, the National Post has learned.
A team spokesman said there was a direct link between the Valentine’s Day argument with Melnyk, an investigation into Little it sparked, Smith’s allegations and his dismissal.
“The Ottawa Senators can confirm knowledge of the blog post, which was discovered following Mr. Little’s Feb. 14 outburst and as a result of an ensuing investigation into his behaviour, leading up to his dismissal. It was one of the issues that gave the organization grave concern,” said Dan Gagnier, spokesman for the Ottawa Senators in a statement to the National Post when asked about Smith’s articles.
It's weird that the Senators only started investigating Little after his argument with Melnyk. Almost as if they went looking for a reason to fire him.
“While there were signs of insecurity and controlling tendencies early in our relationship, I told myself the good far outweighed the bad,” Lara Smith wrote in an article published Aug. 28, 2019.
And the ex-wife's article was posted online over four months before Little was hired. So was Little never vetted? Or did the vetting process not include a rudimentary Google search? Or did the Senators just ignore the spousal abuse allegations and hire him anyways?