Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk conducted a revealing interview with TSN 1200 on Wednesday, explaining that, despite the club’s rocky finances, he will put the Sens in buyer mode at the trade deadline.
“If I need to add a piece, I will,” Melynk explained, also revealing the Sens have lost $110 million since he took ownership in 2003.
Ottawa’s finances have been a major storyline throughout the summer and into this season. An internal player salary budget (projected to be just over $50 million) was believed to be one of the driving forces behind Daniel Alfredsson’s stalled negotiations and eventual departure to Detroit.
In August, a lengthy Melnyk profile in the Ottawa Citizen speculated the Biovail founder had lost $94 million since taking over in ’03, a number that’s now, as mentioned above, apparently $110 million.
Despite all this, Ottawa could actually find itself in good shape come trade deadline time. They currently boast the NHL’s fifth-lowest payroll and, of the teams that made the playoffs last season, clearly have the most to spend.
In terms of deadline rentals, well, there are a few.
Pending UFAs that could be on the move include Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek, Calgary’s Mike Cammalleri, Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky, Dallas’ Ray Whitney, Winnipeg’s Olli Jokinen and New Jersey’s Jaromir Jagr.
Any of these could be a nice pickup for the offensively-challenged Senators, who finished 27th in the NHL last year with 2.33 goals per game (but, it should be noted, are up slightly this year to 2.50.)