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

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