Mikhail Sergachev has provided some clarification after a biting mistranslated quote made the rounds Wednesday regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning’s series loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The blueliner had allegedly called out the Maple Leafs and their fans for celebrating their first series win in nearly 20 years, with an incorrect translation via Instagram account NHLBreakers stating that they “deserved no credit,” something Sergachev claims he never stated.
“If you don’t speak Russian, don’t use Google Translate as your first option then spread misinformation,” Sergachev shared via his Instagram story regarding his interview with Sport24. “I never said it like that.”
Sergachev went on in his statement to clarify the full back-and-forth, though even in direct translation, his comments remain scathing.
“[The] question was ‘Toronto played very physical which got [a] couple of your defencemen hurt, is that true?’ and I said ‘No, it just happens sometimes [that] people get hurt by accident, and I don’t want to give them credit’,” the 25-year-old wrote. “‘[The rep said] why not give them credit?’ ‘Why? I don’t think they deserved [it].’”
The star also added that even though it was the Maple Leafs first appearance in Round 2 since 2004, he saw “no reason to celebrate”, particularly given the embarrassing fashion Toronto was dispatched in. After a surprising meeting with the upstart Florida Panthers, a combination of poor scoring and excellent goaltending from Sergei Bobrovsky saw Toronto head for the exits in just five games.
Sergachev’s quote comes on the heels of another heavy blueliner tossing daggers the Maple Leafs way in Radko Gudas. The Anaheim Ducks newest defenceman, signed to a three-year, $12 million deal on July 1, outlined to a Czech publication that he avoided signing in Toronto due to the market’s intense media scrutiny.
“The Bruins went on to win the league by a record amount of points, but as far as the media was concerned, it wasn’t as bad as it was against Toronto,” Gudas reportedly said. “I don’t know if I want to experience something like that every day.”
Last season, Sergachev achieved career highs with 10 goals and 64 points in 79 games, firmly establishing himself amongst the league’s top defencemen. He’s set to enter the first year of an eight-year, $68-million extension signed last July.