Before I get into some minor notes from tonight's game, how about Eugene Melnyk stealing the night with his two media appearances. First he appeared on the CTV News' 6pm broadcast in a brief interview with Terry Marcotte that featured many "loaded questions". The second was a slightly more embarrassing interview with Hockey Night in Canada's Elliotte Friedman. Although I've been unable to find video of the first interview that I could transcribe, I've transcribed the second interview below and as always, my comments are in bold. (Note: You can watch the Melnyk Hockey Night in Canada video here.)
Friedman: First of all, you say that you have a plan after this year, let’s talk about Bryan Murray first. There’s a sense around the league that he will be retained. What’s Bryan’s future?
A: Well, I’m going to sit down with Bryan tomorrow. Literally tomorrow after the skate to see whether we’re on the same page with respect to the next several years because whomever we do put in place, it’s going to be their stamp on the team. Now Bryan’s put a fantastic stamp on the team already and I would love to see that being followed through but there’s still a lot of talk that has to take place and let things unfold as they do.
Based off what Melnyk is saying, I'm inferring that Murray's taking it year-by-year isn't going to fly and that the owner wants someone who can oversee this next step over the next few years. At this point, the alleged plan that Roy MacGregor revealed in a Globe and Mail article that cast Murray in an advisory role seems the most likely.
Friedman: So when you meet with Bryan tomorrow, what do you want to see as the future? What are your choices?
A: Building upon an organization that is year-in-year-out be competitive. And not just competitive during the season but getting into the playoffs every year; going deep and winning the Stanley Cup ultimately.
Friedman: Are you prepared for a lengthy rebuild?
A: Mentally (pause)... yes. Financially (pause)... yes. But the reality is that I was ready for a three to four year rebuild. But you know what, the way that these kids are playing… well they’re not kids but… this could be a lot sooner than I think and I hope that I’m right this time around and we get something quicker than three or four years and it could be a year or two.
Enough with these timeframes that only raise expectations and pressures. There's no rush! Just do it fucking properly!
Friedman: You were on Bob McCown’s radio show the other day and you talked about how the bad guys were gone. What did you mean by that comment?
A: Yeah, that was completely misinterpreted you know and if you listen to the tapes, you’ll hear it. I was referring to certain… not… for starters… 100% not the players. I love my players. Every one of them. It broke my heart to see Fisher go. I know these players. Kelly. Campoli. All these guys. They’re good people. So I was not referring to them. It was more, number one: in jest and two: it wasn’t referring to the players. That’s all I can tell you. Listen, I enjoy my time with the players. It’s my pleasure being with them. Whether they’re with my team or not, there are some guys on the Canadiens right now that I was with on the junior team like PK. I mean, he ruined a very expensive suit of mine hugging me after he won the gold medal. I’ll love him forever. So no, no, no, let me get that straight – it had nothing to do with the players.
Friedman: Alright, thank you very much Eugene. Ron…
Ron MacLean: Which begs the question, ‘Who?’ but we’re out of time sadly to say.
Yeah, who are these bad guys? Is Melnyk delusional? Does he see bad guys like Matt Damon's character in the Adjustment Bureau? Does he have some kind of medical problem that prevents him from removing his foot from his mouth? So many questions...
As I joked on Twitter, somewhere in the world, Mike Ilitch is staying out of the limelight. Don't get me wrong, I love Melnyk's energy and that he rescued this franchise from bankruptcy but I wish he would step away from the microphones and quit embarrassing himself. As one Twitter follower (@Dennis_Prouse) put it,
And it's completely true - Melnyk is erratic, whimsical owner who loves the media spotlight. Although Subban may be able to ruin an expensive suit, The Euge doesn't need him to ruin a reputation.
So yeah, this Bobby Butler goal happened tonight.
I don't know if I've been this emotionally invested in a Senators game in a long time. With first place in the Senators Extra Prediction Panel up for grabs, tonight's Senators victory pushes me into a first place tie for wins with the Ottawa Citizen's James Gordon. But because I have a higher collection of correctly predicted scores, I have that as the tie-breaker. Who knew that the end of the Senators season that the team would be playing for something?
For me, it almost felt like a playoff type game filled with drama. For one night only, I was no longer concerned with where the Senators would finish in the standings.
And Filip freaking Kuba with the winning goal in OT!??! What a drama filled night! I loved every second of it.