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Senators owner says team is ‘over budget’ for this year

Sep 27, 2013, 5:43 PM EDT

Eugene Melnyk, Daniel Alfredsson AP

It seems questions about the financial status of the Ottawa Senators and owner Eugene Melnyk aren’t about to go away.

In speaking with the press at the opening of “Sens Mile” in Ottawa, Melnyk spoke about his ongoing battle with the city’s mayor over the location of a new casino as well as how the team is doing with money. As Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen reports, it sounds a bit dicey at the moment.

Though only four NHL clubs have more salary cap space than Ottawa’s $8.2 million, beyond a payroll of about $57 million, Melnyk said his team is “already over budget, I just found out (Thursday).”

He stressed the point he believes Ottawa is a “price-sensitive market” but also shooed away questions about possibly relocating the team to help fix that “problem.”

Winning on a budget appears to be the Senators’ aim now and with the team set up how they are now, many prognosticators like their chances of success this season. In the end, Melnyk said he believes teams have to be in the top-half of spenders to be competitive.

For the record, has Ottawa ranked 26 out of 30 in payroll at the moment. Maybe numbers do lie sometimes.

  1. terrier92 - Sep 27, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    The problem isn’t the market it’s the owner

    Ottawa deserves better

    • c9castine - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:41 PM

      we dont even know what “over budget” means in pittsburgh. any serious organization has no budget but the one the league sets on it. Melnyk is not a good enough owner for the Ottawa Senators fan base. A guy who openly insults other teams players and declares criminal investigations on them and lets bryan murray run his team and treats daniel alfreddson like a joke and wont spend the money necessary to be a yearly contender is not good enough for ottawa.

  2. rippit2000 - Sep 27, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    I thought they’d be better off than they were last year – they won’t have to pay all that money for a forensic investigation of Matt Cooke like they did last year.

  3. tapefolie - Sep 27, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Time to move that money losing Canadian team to Tucson….we could really use a local rivalry!

  4. Josh. - Sep 27, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    I sure would love to know how a team that is 6th league-wide in attendance, is 15th (so, top half) in average ticket price, went to the second-round last season, and draws 250K on average for each local TV broadcast is managing to lose as much money as Melnyk says.

    If all those facts are true (and they are – Google them), then the problem is with the NHL’s business model, not the market.

    • hockeydon10 - Sep 27, 2013 at 6:49 PM

      Don’t believe financial statement from guys like that. They all cook the books so it looks like they want it to look.

      • Josh. - Sep 27, 2013 at 6:50 PM

        Oh, of course. I was asking facetiously!

  5. buffalo65 - Sep 27, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    The owners should lock out the players to restore salary order.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      It’s no wonder the system doesn’t work. The Owners lockout the players, or the Players strike on the owners, then they waste time and money sorting it out, then the GMs and Agents step back in and f it all up again.

  6. canucks30 - Sep 27, 2013 at 7:41 PM


    Bettman, is that you?

  7. nygdriveforfive - Sep 27, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    Eugene, you are clearly have serious financial troubles that are a direct result of losses you have incurred owning the Sens. You definitely did not say less then 1 year ago that the team is now profitable. And you sure as heck did not recently lose millions in other business interests. Anyways, I will take you out to dinner at the Dennys of your choice anytime if money is short for you.

  8. thesportsjudge - Sep 27, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Imagine how bad off they would be had they re-signed Alfredsson for one year rather than assuming Ryan and his contract!!!!

  9. LampyB - Sep 27, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    And people wonder why alfie left? Did he stand a chance at the cup with a team intentionally not spending money? Nope. Sens fans should be crying themselves to sleep, pathetic ownership out to maximize the short term investment.

  10. blomfeld - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:21 PM


    This Melnyk idiot is no different than the majority of NHL owners who shouldn’t for even a ‘second’ be taken any more seriously than ‘Vince’ the Shamwow Guy (ie: Vince Shlomi born April 25, 1964). Just like most other professional sports franchises, the majority of NHL teams today are nothing more than cogs in the ‘greater’ wheel of profit & greed … and ‘lowly’ cogs they are, especially stateside. One has to only look at our very own beloved LA Kings, who though being a Stanley Cup champion, nonetheless appear on the balance sheet of The Anschutz Corporation as some ‘miniscule’ asset which you’d probably need a magnifying glass to spot ! The bottom line friends is that it’s ‘imperative’ we become deaf when these pigs talk of financial struggle and instead just focus on the game which we ‘all’ grew up playing and loving.

  11. sharksfan97 - Sep 28, 2013 at 3:40 AM

    Get this owner out of the league. All the guy does is gripe about money and bad mouth his players. News flash Melnyk, many NHL clubs are losing money. If u we’re looking for a profitable venture you should have looked elsewhere. So, do the Ottawa fans a favor and sell to someone who cares more about good hockey than making money.

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