According to the article translation, Petersson said Binghamton is thought of as one of the most depressing cities in the U.S. and told people not to go there. He talked about the size of the arena and even the weather.
While what he said about the city, at least according to the interview, left a lot to be desired, it needs to be pointed out that he did not speak negatively of B-Sens fans. He only made mention of the size of the crowds. The interview, which was translated by steffeG and posted on The 6th Sens blog, made waves Saturday in Binghamton and as you might expect, was not received well by fans of the defending Calder Cup champions.
Those fans let him know just how they felt prior to Saturday’s game when he skated out to receive his Booster Club Player of the Month for January. There was a lot of booing and even a chant of ‘Go home André’
"I'd like to say I'm really, really sorry," Petersson said. "I really like the fans here. We have the best fans I've played for in this league. There's always a lot of people here."
While the award was well-deserved considering Petersson scored eight goals and tallied 15 points in 2012’s first month, he did acknowledge that he noticed the fan reaction on Saturday.
“I guess when I realized what was going on I really wasn’t that surprised,” he said. “As I said, everything feels weird and I’m really sorry for what I’ve done.”
Petersson stopped short of denying anything he said in the interview, but did say he didn’t remember exactly what he said and was surprised by the way the interview portrayed him.
“It was a one-hour interview about my whole season, about my call-up, about the awards I got from the league and all that. When I went from the guys, I thought, Ah, pretty good interview. Summed up my season. Then I read it and was mostly confused."
Petersson seemed uncomfortable even having to speak on the issue and hoped after addressing it Saturday; he could put it behind him.
I said some really stupid stuff, but I really, really, regret it. I really like the crowd here. I like the team we have, all the guys. It's fun playing here. I just want to play hockey every day and become the best player I can be."
Binghamton coach Kurt Kleinendorst addressed the issue during Saturday's post-game comments, prior to Petersson speaking.
"I'm not going to sit here and defend André, but I'm not going to throw André under the bus, either. Sometimes, things get turned around. I don't know. Some people could argue with that, because I've seen the picture, and you know... sometimes, you just wonder, 'What were you thinking?' I think it's one of those moments, 'What were you thinking?' moments," he said. "Well, the answer to that is, 'Well, Coach, I probably wasn't really thinking.' That's the honest answer. We've all done some things that we look back on and kind of regret. I'm here to tell you that it will be one of those things that, whether André thought it was nothing or not, once he understands that it probably did offend some people and I can see why, I think he's the kind of kid that, he'll own it. And I'm sure he'll regret it, too."
That is exactly what Petersson did and he deserves a lot of credit for stepping up and taking responsibility. He didn’t have to speak to the media and at one point, it was believed he wasn’t going to. He did and he owned up to his mistakes.
There will be skeptics out there and that is understandable, but remember… he is a 20-year-old rookie and should be given the benefit of the doubt. Being in that room and seeing the struggle he had trying to explain himself, his apologies and his feelings seemed genuine. That said, only he knows for sure how he really feels.
Article contributed by Don Rieber, a credentialed writer who follows the Binghamton Senators for Examiner.com