In a vitriolic, curse-laden tirade over the course of a phone interview that started with the winger’s relief at being traded away from Saskatchewan, Emil Passerelli went into quite a bit of detail regarding his numerous grievances with the Saskatoon Wild organization and their ringmaster, Peace. Written below is the full interview, with direct quotes from the beleaguered New Yorker and the man asking him the questions, sports analyst Donovan Massey.
Donovan Massey: Thanks for accepting the interview, Emil! How are you feeling after the draft and your subsequent trade to the Las Vegas Aces?
Emil Passerelli: Glad to be here. To answer your first question, honestly… I am beyond excited to be out of Saskatoon. It’s a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.
😧 Oh? Why is that? In the closing stages of the season, you did certainly seem to be at the end of your rope; did it not get better?
E: Hah, is that a rhetorical question, Don? If not, I’d be glad to enlighten you on just how bad it got. What do you know about my trade to Vegas?
😧 About as much as everyone else; just a few hours after the draft concluded, you were packing your bags and heading to Sin City.
E: Ah, I see. Well, I suppose you’ll be the first to know outside of those at Saskatoon that I forced a trade as soon as I saw that the Wild had picked me back up. At the time I was all smiles, of course; it wouldn’t have sent the right message if I walked up on stage ready to -expletive- murder someone. Which, to be truthful, I absolutely was.
😧 Really? I’m guessing you weren’t comfortable with the Wild anymore, huh?
E: Not at all. Especially seeing as I went to Peace before the draft began in order to tell him that I would not like to return to Saskatoon. I told him I’d be unhappy if he picked me back up, in as mature of a statement as I could muster, and he said he didn’t want to step on my toes. And then that -expletive- imbecile of a manager decided to go against his word and draft me anyway when he saw me fall further than he felt I should have. Talk about stepping on my -expletive- toes, Don. More like busting my -expletive- balls, really.
😧 What caused this? Was the locker room atmosphere discordant? Were you at odds with your teammates, or was this just a disagreement between you and management?
E: I bit my tongue for the first… half of the season, maybe. I didn’t like how things were trending, but I was content to stay in my lane regarding the changes that I thought should be made. I’m a rookie on a new team in a new league, what the -expletive- did I know? But it just got worse before it got better. After a stretch of around a dozen losses where Peace was putting in the most asinine lines, I knew that something was seriously off. I tried not to direct any anger at my teammates; after all, it wasn’t their fault that Peace seemed to be content with -expletive- mediocrity for weeks. The atmosphere was a bit awkward; some were 100% behind the skipper, he could do no wrong. Others were a little hesitant, you know?
😧 I understand. I remember that stretch, now that you bring it up. Where did it go from there?
E: I and a few others who I won’t name were a bit pessimistic; we were well out of the playoff race at this point, and without significant changes, it would stay that way. We finally made a trade for some actual defense, and things seemed to be turning around. But they never fully turned. A -expletive- shame, that.
😧 Most who saw the Wild play last season seemed to think that young netminder Juan Jaundice was the main man at fault for your misfortunes. What’s your opinion on that?
E: Honestly, Don? That’s some -expletive- -expletive-. Juan may have let a lot in, but the opposition’s shooters were turning him into -expletive- Swiss cheese! When Juan faced thirty-five shots in a game, that was a good day! So many odd-man rushes… I’ll tell you who was content with having Juan be the fall guy. Peace. Half of the -expletive- locker room. It was -expletive- disheartening.
😧 You seem to be passionate about this. Were you close with Juan?
E: I was. Still am. He’s a great friend, and seeing the guy get so down on himself hurt me, because other people were getting down on him too, and it was hard to drag him out of his doldrums. It wasn’t his fault our defense was out to pasture half the time. I’m not saying any names, but there were entire -expletive- shifts where we floundered in our own third. I felt that maybe I was at fault, so each day in practice I’d work on my defense, you know? Skating backwards, poke checks, sticking to my man. It didn’t help, not until the trade. That’s another reason I needed to leave. I didn’t want to abandon Juan, but… I just couldn’t stand to be in the same room as the GM, and that’s not good. I’m so glad to be gone, and I’m excited about my future with the Aces. More excited than I’ve been in a long while. I just wish Juan all the best. I’ll be in his corner as much as possible, when I’m not trying to score on him.
😧 Well, Emil, that’s all the time we have for today. Thank you for enlightening the viewers and myself on the trade, and I think I speak for all of us when I say that we hope it all works out for you in the end.
E: Thanks for having me, Don. It’s good to get some things off my chest. (1000 words, using for weeks ending 5/5 and 5/12)