The latest on the Senators, Jets and Oilers.
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.