Oh, Eugene…

January 23rd, 2011 by Burgundy Leave a reply »

I’ve never seen or heard an owner of an NHL team talk as much about doing something as Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. And despite this, nothing ever seems to happen.

The amount of crap this guy spews out is truly amazing. I understand the differences between being a fan and an owner — even though Melnyk might not — and I understand Melnyk needs to remain positive to cool a tepid fan base. But here’s the thing: no one is holding a gun forcing Melnyk to mention the “S-word.” (the Stanley Cup).

The following is a direct quote from Melnyk in a recent interview with the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch from Sunday:

“We’re going to do what it takes to bring the Stanley Cup to Ottawa, whether it takes one, three or five years. It will happen. You have my commitment.”
- Eugene Melnyk, Ottawa Senators owner and All-Star quote machine

I can’t even make this stuff up. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not an NHL owner. This is a fan with nice suits and good perks. I can’t think of another NHL owner who talks this much about doing something without any follow up actions. Eugene, your team is currently 27th in the league. Even the Leafs, the ‘bud’ of every draft joke, sit higher than the Senators. Now probably isn’t a good time to make Stanley Cup commitments.

Imagine next year’s 24/7 HBO special featured the Senators. The entire series could be dedicated to Melnyk’s “future plans.”

In this glorious interview, Melnyk goes on to say “At this time, it makes no sense to make managerial or coaching changes. We’ll let the season play itself out and look forward to building for the future.” Ummm… what?

I would argue this is a critical time for the Senators organization. This is the time for a the club to define what kind of rebuild they are going for – a massive one or a small one. I don’t think I’m alone when I say a massive overhaul is required. Even Melnyk should agree the issue with the Senators isn’t coaching. It’s the players. Four different coaches over the last four or five years should tell anyone that. I like what SensChirp said the other day: this is as close to tanking as a pro sports team can get.

Yes, this is a bit of a rant. I’ve never liked Melnyk’s bold statements. In fact I’m still “buckled up.” I’m all for owner’s believing in their teams, but Melnyk has clearly taken things to a new level. It’s one thing when your team is a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, or at least a playoff bound team. It’s quite another when you are sitting at the bottom of the league. You don’t see the Islanders or Devils talking about Lord Stanley. Melnyk needs to quit the Daniel Alfredsson School of Guarantees as quickly as possible. It’s getting embarrassing for fans.

Ahhh, it’s official. It’s rock bottom for the Senators. Maybe we all just need to chill out and grab a Huge Euge. Or maybe we, fans, need to see evidence of direction. Or both. Either way…

Stay classy, Eugene Melnyk. Less is more.

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4 comments

  1. Jehan says:

    Oh, come on. Every owner should say the plan is to win the Stanley Cup. He says whether it takes five years or not, the plan is to put together an organization that can win one. I have no problems with this.

  2. MHO says:

    I agree he seems to be too much a fan at times not enough owner. The only problem is the “fan” can become star struck or fooled by hockey people who assure him, they know what’s best ie Murray.

    I go back and forth on whether it would help to fire Clouston, but I am all for getting rid of Murray now. I just hope if Murray is picking the next GM he looks farther then Timmy and let’s hope the new Coach isn’t his brother.

    Hopefully, once this plan is explained fans will have more confidence in the organization.

  3. SensDew19 says:

    In all fairness to the Euge he did say it could take up to 5 yrs to win the Cup but I agree, at this point we should be looking to become a contender again.

    Murray should be gone ASAP, if he’s here next year I don’t trust this rebuild phase….1 year? Really? At least say 2-3 yrs

    Great rant :)

  4. Burgundy says:

    Thanks all. This organization is really doing a number of itself.

    @ SensDew19 – I’m a fan of realism. I’d much prefer he say things like “becoming a contending team”, rather than “destined Stanley Cup winner.” I know I’m making stuff up, but the point is it’s all way too over the top. It’s crap. Hard to take him seriously. He builds things up too much and then fans get disappointed.

    @ MHO – Good god, I hope restructuring doesn’t include a golden ticket for little Timmy. That would be a disaster.

    @ Jehan – Owners should only say that when they a legitimate chance to win – like Chicago did last year, or Vancouver this year. I think everyone in Ottawa know this year’s team would struggle to make the playoffs. Not everything an owner says should be headline material. This “buckle up” nonsense is embarrassing for fans and players.

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