NHL Canadian Corner – Saturday, August 17, 2013.

The latest on the Senators, Jets and Oilers.

The Ottawa Senators reportedly lost over $94 million since 2003-04.

The Ottawa Senators reportedly lost over $94 million since 2003-04.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: James Bagnall wrote an interesting column on the Ottawa Senators financial difficulties. During Eugene Melnyk’s tenure as Senators owner, the club has lost $94 million, forcing the team to operate under a tighter payroll than in previous years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators losses were among the reasons behind Melnyk’s unsuccessful efforts to bring a casino to Kanata, where the Senators arena is located. The article also noted the Senators aren’t the only mid-market NHL team which has lost money for years, though it should be noted one-third of the NHL’s revenue comes from Canadian teams. Still, it’ll be worthwhile keeping an eye on this situation over the course of this CBA, especially if the Canadian dollar should decline in value against the American dollar.

Part of the Senators losses were due to their low ticket prices, as they must charge what the market will bear. A few years ago, however, the Senators were 11th in the league in ticket prices, so as the club continues to improve, those prices should reflect their success. The article also noted within the next ten years, the Senators will need a new arena. The location of their current one has been cited as one reason behind the Sens money woes. When the time comes to build a new arena, it should be as close to downtown Ottawa as possible.

TSN: Melnyk recently blamed Daniel Alfredsson’s agent J.P. Barry for the former captain’s departure. ” “I point the finger squarely on JP Barry, the man who blessed us with the (Dany) Heatley mess.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The “Heatley mess” was the result of a contract the Senators happily signed him to back in October 2007, which contained bonuses and a full no-movement clause. Takes two to tango, Mr. Melnyk.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples believes the Oilers need a couple of strong checking wingers on their third and fourth lines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Defensive depth has been an issue for the Oilers for a couple of years now, which includes their checking lines. For now, it appears the Oilers will evaluate those positions in training camp before making any decisions on upgrades.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Jets are  now limiting tickets from their resale ticket-exchange website for wait-list customers only.


  1. If the Sens were doing so bad financially.. losing 10M a season.. why would they not be one of the NHL teams getting revenue sharing? I don’t believe they are..

    Spending just above the cap floor and making the playoffs… I find it very hard to believe they are losing that much money..

    They lowered ticket prices coming out of the lockout. Raise them again.

    The issue in Ottawa is it’s a government town. The Government can’t use tax payer’s money to buy season tickets… like Corporations use their shareholders money to buy tickets.

    Toronto, Rangers, Mtl probably have mostly corporate seat holders. They will pay whatever the ticket prices are as it’s not their personal money they are spending. They just use their Corporate money and write it off as an expense on the Company income taxes… No loss to them.

    As for Heatley.. both the Sens and Heatley and his agent signed that contract in good faith. Heatley didn’t like the coach.. so instead of acting like a man and playing through it.. he wimpered like a child and requested a trade. Murray was told he could deal with Edmonton and had the deal finanalized before the deadline that was to pay Heatley his $4M bonus.. But Heatley and his agent rejected the trade.. and Melnyk had to pony up the $. That is what he is mad at … and I don’t blame him..

  2. The losses that the Sens have is because Melnyk borrowed way too much money to buy the Sens. I believe that article noted that he could not sell his stocks due to a blackout so he borrowed. When he tried to negotiate a new loan the lockout happened so he paid some hefty penalties. So most of the losses are actually from that rather than actual operating losses.