Wednesday was not a banner day for the Ottawa Senators on the contract negotiation front.
Following reports of Bobby Ryan rejecting a seven-year, $49 million deal, Sens assistant GM Pierre Dorion took to the airwaves in the wake of an Ottawa Sun article on pending UFA defenseman Marc Methot — one that featured Larry Kelly, Methot’s agent, saying the two sides were $300,000 apart on a new deal.
That comment drew Dorion’s ire.
“It’s disappointing,” he said, per TSN 1200 radio. “I’ve been with the team for eight years and I don’t know if I’ve been more disappointed about anything that’s been written.
“I don’t think you go about this way to do a contract.”
Here’s the bit from the Sun article that got Dorion’s goat:
After GM Bryan Murray told TSN’s Bob McKenzie he’d trade Methot rather than lose him to free agency, Methot’s agent, Ottawa lawyer Larry Kelly, was taken aback to hear Murray and the two sides are not “in the same ball park right now.”
“That’s a surprising comment,” Kelly told the Sun. “His last offer was 4.7 (million) over five years, starting at 4.5, and our last offer was 5 (million) AAV (average annual salary), over five years, starting at 4.5.”
The Senators did not comment.
Dorion, who has taken on a large share of GM duties while Murray undergoes cancer treatment, isn’t the only front office exec to take issue with an agent recently. Yesterday, Columbus president John Davidson tore a strip off Kurt Overhardt, who represents young Blue Jackets star (and potential training camp holdout) Ryan Johnansen.
In Ottawa, things don’t appear as contentious — yet — but Kelly negotiating through the media clearly isn’t appreciated by the Sens’ front office.
“The information that’s written in that article is totally false,” Dorion said. “There’s no other way to put it. You put us in a corner, which isn’t fair — we said we’ve wanted to try and sign Marc from day one and to me, this is negotiation 101 in bad faith.”