Capitals defenseman John Carlson was all class when addressing former teammate Brendan Leipsic, whom the Caps released last week amid a social media firestorm.
That's about the only scenario imaginable where one could get a player to comment on the Leipsic situation, as they're all sequestered away in isolation. True to his character, Carlson politely tiptoed around the media landmine.
Asked if he thinks it's possible to to coexist with a player who was caught so red-handed trashing teammates, Carlson said, "I think that in each case it's different. I think the surrounding parts matter a lot in that scenario, and just speaking to that specific thing, I think we're all men and professionals in what we do."
"Nothing is easy when you get 25 guys together in that type of atmosphere, I would say," he continued. "There's obviously disagreements all the time and a lot of stuff we don't know about. There's definitely been difficult spells for guys that I've seen over the years that have put it aside and worked through it."
Carlson conceded the situation would probably be a lot more volatile if it had occurred in season, with every player being asked about it in the locker room by assembled media.
"Yeah, I think that would definitely have been a distraction and there's nothing good to take out of it other than the fact that we weren't playing at the time," he said.
"I don't know how much of it you read," Dukes said. "But how surprised were you at some of the stuff that was being said?"
"I'd prefer not to comment on that. That's not my place," Carlson said. "He was a teammate of mine and I'll just leave it at that."