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Sens owner Melnyk blames agent Barry for Alfie signing in Detroit

Aug 16, 2013, 3:03 PM EDT

Eugene Melnyk Getty Images

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is talking again — this time, it’s to rip agent JP Barry for his role in the failed Daniel Alfredsson negotiations.

And because this whole situation hasn’t become emotional enough, Melnyk even decided to raise an old Ottawa ghost from the past.

“I point the finger squarely on JP Barry, the man who blessed us with the (Dany) Heatley mess,” Melnyk told TSN on Friday.

Yesterday — following Alfredsson’s insinuation that the club had broken its promise to compensate him for playing the 2012-13 season for just $1 million — it was Sens general manager Bryan Murray who first suggested Barry was a big reason negotiations fell apart and the Ottawa captain ended up signing with the Red Wings.

“I can say this: I’m disappointed,” Murray told the Ottawa Sun. “It seems Alfie isn’t totally informed of what went on. That had to do with [agent J.P. Barry] didn’t tell me the truth during the week. He kept saying ‘I can’t get in touch with Alfie. I will get back to you with a number.’

“He never got back to me. I never heard back from him after the phone call on Tuesday (before free agency). Alfie called me himself on Thursday night to tell me that he was leaving. I said to J.P. during the earlier conversations I can’t pay you $7 million. That’s what they asked for for the year.

“I offered $4.5 million. I said, ‘Both of us hopefully are flexible and we will talk.’ (Barry) said he would get back to me. I just took for granted that would happen and it never happened. I never heard back. I have not heard from J.P. since the $7 million (demand in New York) Saturday meeting we had. It was $12 million for two years and $7 million for one. That’s disappointing.”

Barry, not surprisingly, didn’t quite see it Murray’s way.

“The fact is this was a negotiation concerning impending free agency,” he told TSN Thursday. “We made multiple offers and invited them to negotiate. They provided a number on the weekend prior to July 5 and said this is all they can do due to internal budget restrictions. It wasn’t a market offer in our estimation. They wanted Daniel to take a below market deal again after he had done the same several times previously and we didn’t feel that was appropriate.”

PS — If you don’t know about the “Heatley mess,” click here.

Related: Ottawa columnist rips Alfie for ‘going to a dump like Detoilet’

  1. bcsteele - Aug 16, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Melnyk needs to can it. The fact of the matter is the player’s agent did one thing here…his job…he got the best possible deal and situation he could achieve for his client.

    I work at a car dealership for a living and if a customer ask me “is that your best offer?” and I tell them it is. They have every right to get and go to another place to see if they’ll beat it. Do you think I’ll hear back from that customer to see if I have another shot? The majority of the time the answer is no and they’ve already bought.

    If the Sens were serious about signing him they should have realized they were not in the position of power over the negotiation. Alfie was being a pending free agent. That said, if Alfie felt a promise was made and not kept, that is all on the Sens management for not making their position clear. Instead, they tried to bargain him again, and he went elsewhere. I actually like the Sens as a team and respect the hell out of a player like Alfie but I’m becoming less and less impressed by the front office of the Sens.

  2. pmac26 - Aug 16, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    I was sure he would blame Matt Cooke, and open a forensic investigation to prove it.

  3. blackhawks2010 - Aug 16, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    The blame game. It’s over, move on. The Sens will be solid this year and Wings will benefit from Alfie. Both teams are playoff caliber and may make it to the top 8.

  4. timsabourin - Aug 16, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    butt hurt

  5. jpelle82 - Aug 16, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    yeah because your gm didnt have anything to do with the heatley “mess”. it was all the agent right?

  6. tru2joelu4eva - Aug 16, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    isn’t this fun??!!

  7. jcmeyer10 - Aug 16, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    This is just hurting his chances to keep talent. No matter who wins this, he is just hurting his team in the long run.

  8. sharksfan97 - Aug 16, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    This owner is a disaster.

  9. murtdurt - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Hey Eugene: SHUT UP!

  10. rendy09o - Aug 17, 2013 at 4:03 AM

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  11. vanfoodman - Aug 17, 2013 at 4:19 AM

    Granted Melnyk is a blowhard but this statement from JP Barry is just petulant, childish BS, “I decided not to respond in July when Bryan chose to criticize my role as an agent in this process. It was an emotional day. I get it.” Sorry…what? Who’s agent conducts negotiations that way? Bryan made me mad, so I ended talks! If this wasn’t Alfie’s last contract, I’d tell him to get a new agent.

  12. beelza - Aug 17, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Here’s how Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Illitch handled Nick Lidstrom’s yearly contract signings. First, no one was signed until Nicky was signed, period, end of story. Kenny would get calls several times a day from Illitch and one question was asked of Ken Holland, “Kenny, where are we at with Nicky?” Illitch instructed Ken Holland to literally “open the books” and show Nick the franchise’s financials so Lidstrom knew he was getting the absolute most salary possible under the cap. Great owners don’t allow their legends to leave, unless your Eugene cheap.

  13. redridershoottheireyeout - Aug 17, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    The Sens have supplanted the Coyotes as the NHL’s new circus, Melnyk as the biggest Bozo! His creative accounting classes under Bernie Madoff are becoming more and more transparent, he’s even starting to resemble Madoff in other ways.

  14. frankiesweep - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    They should just move this team to the US…

    Ottawa can’t support professional hockey.

  15. augsburg12 - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    Blame Alfie he signed with the red wings. Wait a minute. Why blame anybody we all know its all about money. Period. Good luck, good riddance, Hello Hockey town. Good bye.Where is Ottawa anyways

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