LINE OF QUESTIONS ABOUT LE TOUX IGNITES NOWAK IN WEEKLY PRESSER
During Peter Nowak's weekly press conference, a series of questions pertaining to Sebastien Le Toux was asked of the Union manager. Rather than defuse the situation and wish Le Toux -- the franchise's leading scorer who was traded to Vancouver in January -- all the best, it got ugly.
Here's the line of questioning from a reporter to Nowak:
Reporter: With Sebastien coming back, what do you expect the atmosphere to be, you know, with his popularity while he was here?
Nowak: Are you serious or joking?
Nowak: Oh, I can take it as different perspectives. Maybe confettis, maybe parade, maybe banners. I don't know. I don't know what it's going to be and how it's going to be. I'm not worried about this thing whatsoever.
Unfortunately, it didn't end there. After Nowak completed his near-12-minute presser, stepped from the podium and walked toward the exit, he said to the reporter, "Get over it, man. This doesn't help anybody."
Nowak and the reporter had a boisterous back-and-forth for more than 20 minutes, during which time Nowak left the hallway that connects home and visitor locker rooms only to return and have it out with the reporter some more.
The relationship between Nowak and Le Toux likely became contentious when Le Toux, who was traded to the Whitecaps in January despite wishing to extend his contract with the Union, told me he'd rather retire than play for Nowak ever again.
Moral of the story?
This doesn't do any good for the Union (0-3-0), the last-place team in the Eastern Conference which is looking to nab a win against its former star player and the Whitecaps (2-0-1), the first-place team in the Western Conference. This whole thing could have been buried had Nowak played it coolly or, at the very least, privately. Instead, it's turned into something that, as Nowak put it, "doesn't help anybody."
If there's one saving grace to it all, it's that Nowak told reporters he would reach out to Le Toux upon his visit to PPL Park this weekend, should the opportunity present itself.
(Le Toux photo: Times staff photo / COLIN KERRIGAN; Nowak photo: Associated Press)