Updates on the Senators, Oilers and Canadiens – August 10, 2013.

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk explains why his club parted ways with long-time captain Daniel Alfredsson, Oilers blueliner Justin Schultz hopes his club makes the playoffs next spring, and Canadiens forward Brandon Prust has recovered from last season’s injuries.

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk explains why his club failed to re-sign Daniel Alfredsson.

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk explains why his club failed to re-sign Daniel Alfredsson.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: James Gordon interviewed Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, who explained the reasons behind his club parting ways with long-time Senator Daniel Alfredsson, who signed with the Detroit Red Wings last month as a free agent. Melnyk cited budgetary concerns, claiming his team couldn’t afford to meet Alfredsson’s salary demands and still bring in quality talent. Shortly following Alfredsson’s signing with the Wings, the Senators acquired winger Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators actually could have afforded both if Melnyk were willing to spend, but he’s keeping the Sens payroll well below the $64.3 million cap for the upcoming season. Some might argue he’s being cheap, but in recent years there’s been rumblings of the Senators having some financial problems (hence Melnyk’s recent push for a casino near the Senators arena in Kanata), which would explain his current frugality.

It’s also rumored the Senators hierarchy expected Alfredsson to accept less than market value (as he always had in the past), and when he didn’t, they balked at his asking price, which put “Alfie” on the path toward free agency and the Red Wings. It’s unlikely to have an adverse effect upon the Senators performance this coming season. Alfredsson was a popular leader but he’s well past his best-before date and his career is winding down, while Ryan (a skilled sniper in his playing prime) is an excellent addition who should make the Sens a better team. It just appears Alfredsson’s negotiations were handled that well by the Senators.

EDMONTON SUN: Oilers sophomore defenseman Justin Schultz hopes to help his club end its lengthy playoff drought.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Brandon Prust has fully recovered from last season’s rib and shoulder injuries and expects to be ready when the club’s training camp opens on September 11.


  1. Alfie reportedly wanted 6M — and he also wanted the Sens to bring in talent to give him a better chance at the Cup. They told him they were bringing in Bobby Ryan — but I guess that was not enough.

    Love Alfie… he was the franchise player… but come on 6M is too much $$ for him. The Sens offered 4-4.5M. In the end he went for 1M more and where he thinks he has a better chance at the Cup. Sure the Wings will spend to the Cap… so do the Flyers…

    They gave up a lot to get Bobby Ryan… turned out to be 2 firsts and a 2nd (Noesen and 1st round pick.. and Silfverberg). I’m glad the Sens did not try to trade more of their prospects for a 1 yr run.

    Why hurt the future for a 1 yr run — Alfie. Murray is trying to build this team through the draft plus young good additions via trade in Ryan & Turris.

    The Sens have a lot of contracts up in the next 2 seasons… they also need room for them…

    I’m glad they are not spending stupid…

    The Sens are not Cup contenders this season… The Wings may be… but they won’t win it. You should have chosen Boston.

    • I agree, Boston might have been a better choice however hard to ever dismiss Detroit as they are always competitive. Lyle’s point that the team didn’t handle the negotiations with Alfredsson as well as they could/should have certainly seems true to me. Team management, like the majority of fan’s and observers, probably assumed he would never sign elsewhere. Would the team be better with him in the lineup? Undoubtably in my mind however the offseason moves (Ryan, MacArthur and to a lesser extent Corvo) plus the distinct likelyhood of a healthier group of players should result in a better Senator’s team than last season. Time will tell if ‘Alfie’ made the right decision to sign with Detroit.

      • Not that this probably means much coming from me as a Leaf fan but this team going in to the season with a healthy Karlsson and the additions you pointed out are very much a better team then they had thru most of last year even with out Alfie. They will also benefit a bit I think from his leaving by having new leadership (it may have been a bit of a gaff but no one wants to hear a vet say we cant probably come back to win…) and more to prove. I think the “Pesky Sens” moniker will be even more applicable this year with out Alfredson for what its worth.

  2. The Senators management has spun the Alfie story from the moment he signed with Detroit.

    If they had not spent dumb money on, MacArthur, a player who sat in the press box for the Leafs they could have afforded Alfie.

    They should be ashamed for slandering the greatest player in their franchise history.

  3. Alfie wanted 6M.. That’s too much money and JP Barry knew the Sens would never go for that. MacArthur would not have been signed with the Sens if Alfie would not have left.

    In hindsight… with Alfie so focused on winning the Cup (as any NHL player is) he should have asked for a trade when the Sens started their re-build/re-tool a couple of seasons ago.. when they traded Fisher & Kelly. They could have got a lot for Alfie… in the end the way it was handled by both sides… the Sens got nothing. I think the Sens did take Alfie for granted — not expecting him the leave. BUT Alfie and his agent made an unrealistic demand for salary..

    I’m willing to give MacArthur a chance on the 2nd or 3rd line… He won’t get you 25 or 30 goals.. but the Sens needed some experience without moving more young players in a trade.

    I would have preferred Damian Brenner… but that kid wants to much $$$. He has only played a half season in the NHL…

    • CMac if he has a constant year (which has always been his problem) could easily put up 20-25 (Alfredsson only had 1 25 goal season in the past 5 or 6) tho he just has confidence issues if he gets in a rut, but when playing confident a confident game, I could see him producing on your second line. Pretty good player when he is on his game. There is absoultely no question in my mind that CMac and Ryan will outproduce Silfverberg and Allfredson, plus they play a grittier game. The team has much better depth in my eyes anyway. I like what they have done, they are a much harder team for me to hate now that Alfie is gone :-p