Well, I didnt expect him to be an ass, not in the public eye anyhow. He's always very balanced. He dips a toe in to see what sort of reaction he gets. When it's positive he pushes further as with Queen Henry's pads . He wants to be loved and respected and he's a reader and manipulator of people - its the nature of the position.
He tried a little outrage -pretty quickly he saw it was flying with no one. Fans are not being gracious about his fall, because they fear his ego will misread their melancholy/nostalgia for actual support. If he's going to bounce back he'll need fan support. Tantrums, self-righteous whining, this is no way to curry favor and get his way. I'm not saying he's being dishonest or manipulative - he just sees things clearly - he has to be truthful if he hopes to be treated fairly (which means given the unearned benefit of the doubt when push comes to shove - shee-it he sees Gionta keep playing, day in day out ).
I also don't think it's eating him up inside. He's OLD. That's the only thing that will bug him at the end of the day and he's not that kind of person. He'll find stuff to like about being old. He'll be agitated and frustrated but nothing will eat away at his soul. Man, how pathetic do you think he is? So dramatic