Yesterday afternoon I transcribed the part of Eugene Melnyk's conversation with Roger Lajoie on the Fan 590 that pertained to the Ottawa Senators and their quest to return to prominency. In case you missed it, here's what was said:
Q: What kind of an offseason do you expect in Ottawa Eugene? How long of a process do you see this rebuild taking?
A: "Well it's interesting. When I made up my mind, I was looking at a three or four year process. And all of a sudden you see these young kids stepping up. I gotta stop calling them kids... these young adults start stepping up the way they have. Starting to beat up on teams that are supposed to be unbeatable. Winning streaks... You know, where is this all coming from? And Bryan (Murray) was very confident when we first made the decision. He says, "Eugene, don't think is a three or four year process. This could be a year or two. We could be competitive next year but the year after that, if some of the guys step up and we get the goaltending we need, we could be there in two years... maybe three tops. It's not bad! If I knew that in the beginning, I would have made the decision a long time ago. (laughter)"
Over on Twitter, I poked a little fun at the owner's expense and it provoked some comments from fellow members of the Sens blogosphere:
He's the owner. Not sure what you expect him to say. ~ SensChirp
Because his goal is to make money, not be completely transparent and imply to fans they need not show up for the next 2 seasons. ~ Travis Yost
Ideally I'd prefer for him to say nothing and avoid the limelight (for the wrong reasons) and be more like the the Robert Krafts, Mike Illitchs and John Henrys of the world. He should give his hockey ops people to more autonomy or looking into re-investing money that has typically been designated for a maxed out payroll and instead using it to invest in scouting, player development and non-traditional resources/consulting that can complement the organization's decision making and help give the Senators a competitive advantage during a time when the parity and landscape in the NHL is balanced.
If Melnyk's goal to make a pile of money off of the Ottawa Senators, he's in the wrong business. He doesn't have to be transparent because there's no benefit to publicly disclose any kind of time frame for when the Senators might be contenders again. Instead, he opted to use words and a tone that conveyed the message that the timeline to contend for a Stanley Cup has been accelerated based off a small sample size of games featuring inflated goaltending numbers.
Had he simply said something along the lines of...
"Despite the recent success that we've had, the long-term plan to build a winner that can enjoy sustained success on an annual basis. Obviously we'd prefer to get to that point as quickly as possible but we want to do it responsibly. We don't want to make shortsighted signings or trades that deviate from our plan of winning over the long term. We're asking our fans to be patient through this process but as you can clearly see from the recent number of games, it's an exciting time for fans. We have a bunch of exuberant young talent that is fun to watch but right now, we don't have enough of it yet at the NHL level. We're going to keep building on this base and the results will eventually speak for themselves. When that's going to be, I'm not going to say but our fans should rest assured that our mandate has not changed."
It would have been better. So much better.
I've always found the Coyotes situation to be intriguing because head coach Dave Tippett is currently enjoying his second successful season behind the bench and as such, he's receiving some praise as a potential Jack Adams candidate. However, following the Sens game last night I partook in some NHL boxscore gazing and couldn't help but notice that in Phoenix's 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames, Kyle Turris played a paltry 8 minutes and 45 seconds while Michael Boedker had 6 minutes and 36 seconds of ice-time. I admit that I don't watch many Coyotes games but I was wondering how much flack a coach or organization should receive for balancing the development of these young prospects with winning. A quick look at Phoenix's statistics indicate that these two players are producing despite their lack of ice-time and when I looked at their production per 60 minutes of ice-time, Boedker and Turris rank first and second on the team.
Perhaps these are the kind of young offensive players that Ottawa should be targetting in a trade.