Cornwall Ontario – The litany of issues facing Sens owner Eugene Melnyk is bewildering. While there’s always a back story to most issues, the face of the slide for the team started with the handling of fan fave Daniel Alfredsson.
That it was played out as much in public as it did hurt the team. Likewise, the botched mess of the Kyle Turris situation turned into a donnybrook of dirty laundry that literally ruined a season and has torn the team apart.
Bad trades, bad contract signings, and what appear to be salary dumps and pennywise, pound foolish staffing decisions have not helped morale.
The Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman situation was utterly amateur and bush. The last minute dumping of Hoffman may play a factor in Karlsson not being traded, but the money is that the franchise player for the team will be traded before camp starts, probably as a lever to dump Bobby Ryan and his contract.
Whatever really was going on between Hoffman and Karlsson camps really wasn’t a secret anymore than Habs goalie Carey Price’s scandal buzz in Montreal. Trading Hoffman once the drama exploded publicly hurt the sale price. You sell high and buy low, but the Sens seem to be taking a page from Marc Bergevin’s playbook and losing talent with each trade. That issue should’ve been handled a lot sooner than it appears it was. And if the team wasn’t aware then someone wasn’t doing their job of knowing what’s going on with its roster.
Clearly Mark Stone doesn’t want to be a Sen and his one year to UFA arbitration contract not only makes his future dim with the club, but will impact his trade value this season. The Cody Ceci arbitration award also is not a positive sign.
When your longest term player signed is the one contact you’d like to dump your GM is failing. Of course not all GM’s are the one’s that make the decisions so it’s hard to pick on Pierre Dorion who simply is in a charge of a ship that is working with a handicap.
While the team has some nice prospects they certainly are not enough and not NHL ready for this season where the team will not have 1st or 3rd round pick as part of the Matt Duchene deal.
While Duchene looks to stay, the hot mess will only up his leverage and pressure on the team to sign him, especially for what they gave up.
Normally a simple replacing of the GM and plan to reboot the team might be in order, but with their defense and goaltending a hot mess a tear down might not be the worst idea out there. It might give the team time to find a new owner and that’s a question that Erik Karlsson and his agent have to have in the back of their minds as his value is greatest in the Ottawa market and new ownership might be more than happy to see him on the team. Likewise selling the team might be easier for Eugene Melnyk with their captain still on the roster.
Either way this should be an ugly season for loyal Ottawa hockey fans unless something drastically changes on the roster.
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