Making one of his regular appearances on TSN1050, Darren Dreger hit on an issue which at least to this point has gone unremarked upon by most outside media - the outlook on the Ottawa Senators' financial situation.
When asked whether today's decision to demote Mika Zibanejad to Binghamton was driven by dollars and cents, Dreger said:
“Yeah, it is a real tough one. You know, when you talk to those inside that organization, they’re not really surprised by how well the team did last year. They certainly heaped expectation on how good they could be this year based on last year, but that’s because of how well this team has drafted and continued to develop (players) in the American (Hockey) League. But they have good young players who are ready to step into the National Hockey League, but because of the dollars that they’ve paid elsewhere in trying to build themselves back into contending status, they’re above budget. And another thing that needs to be considered here, and it was an Ottawa source who pointed this out, so I suppose it’s somewhat specific to Ottawa – the CBA hasn’t helped the budget teams in some differing ways. For example, business class for players who have to travel more than three hours from the American (Hockey) League or those types of things. The room on the road - the individual room on the road for players who are coming out of entry-level and all of that. And the medical expenses – the fourth and second opinion where clubs have to pay for that. In theory, it could cost the Ottawa Senators legitimately upwards of $2 million or more for one season. When you’re a budget team and you weren’t budgeting on that extra $2 million, that’s a pretty good player or maybe two pretty good players. So, there’s always going to be some financial woes that seem to hover over this club.”
Now the Senators have claimed they lost $94 million over the past ten years, so news of Ottawa's financial plight isn't anything new. I'm not sure what Dreger's going on about with these unforeseen CBA issues - unless it comes out that Milan Michalek's blood serum treatment in Germany cost the Senators a bazillion dollars.
Honestly Dreger is such an ownership shill that it's difficult to take this seriously.
Also making an appearance on TSN1050 today was the NHL Commissioner and he had the following things to say (h/t to Yost for tweeting the Dreger and Bettman audio):
On how with the strength of the Canadian dollar being what it is and having made the second round of the playoffs, the Ottawa Senators can be losing money in the current economic model…
“You know, I make it a practice not to discuss individual team economics and so, without hopefully disappointing you, that’s a question that you’ll have to ask Eugene Melnyk because I’m not going to speak to any club’s economic issues or opportunities; that’s really a club issue. We believe that under the system we have, every team should be in a position to afford to be competitive – that is the goal. I suppose in any particular year, a club could have some issues either on the revenue side or the expense side which could cause them not to have the bottom line performance that they want, but overall, the long-term goal is to keep everyone competitive in a way that they can afford to.”
On Ottawa being a team that requires having any extra attention for…
“They’re not as far as I’m concerned on a critical list. But you know, what’s interesting is the Coyotes, the Panthers and the Devils were the subject of incredible and intense scrutiny, rumour, speculation that they were in dire straits. They were probably never as bad off as was being suggested – some of that may have come from places that were hoping that one or more of the clubs would fail so that they would have to relocate to somewhere else. I don’t think we’re looking at any franchises that rise to that level that the speculation went to with those three teams.”
Classic Bettman, deny the problem and then go further and deny that a more obvious problem also wasn't a problem.
I'm just interested to see if Bettman tries to orchestrate a pow-wow between himself, Melnyk and Watson, much like he did with Daryl Katz and Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel last year. If that doesn't happen, kinda speaks volumes of how the higher ups at the NHL view the Senators owner.no comments
Well, I guess this puts an end to the 'Will Mika Zibanejad play center or wing?' speculation.
With today’s 3:00 pm deadline to submit the finalized rosters to the NHL’s offices, the Ottawa Senators have made some waves by sending ballyhooed prospect, phenom, fan favorite, Mika Zibanejad back to the American Hockey League.
Yes Binghamton, DJ Z-Bad, could be making an appearance at a small discotheque near you. They like progressive house in rural upstate NY right?
I'm all for sending guys messages, but it’s worth reminding fans that this is the time of year when asset management plays just as much a part of the decision-making process as a player’s performance in the small sample size known as the NHL preseason.
Of the players remaining from last season’s roster, only Kyle Turris (Ottawa’s leading scorer) had more points than Zibanejad’s 20 (7 goals and 13 assists). So it is somewhat interesting to see that 4 or 5 games worth of preseason hockey have undone what Zibanejad did over the course of 42 meaningful NHL games last season.no comments
The Team1200 has relaunched as TSN1200 and who better to mark Ian Mendes' debut as a radio host in Ottawa than Senators GM Bryan Murray?
With the Sens having to submit their final roster to the NHL today, and a number of intriguing cuts to the parent roster (cough, cough, Mika Zibanejad, cough, cough), the timing of the interview could not be better.
If you would like to listen to the full interview, you can do so here, or via streaming the embedded audio below.
As always, my thoughts in bold.no comments
At a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sens Mile this afternoon, Eugene Melnyk proceeded to get everyone excited for the sesaon by discussing the organization’s financial wherewithal.
You can find a full transcript of the Euge’s comments on the Senators’ official blog Inside the Senate (which by the way is maintained by Chris Lund who’s doing some excellent work for the organization), but you can read what I found interesting below.
As always, my thoughts are in bold.no comments
Drafted in the first round of the 2007 NHL, Jim O’Brien may have the distinction of being Bryan Murray’s first ever draft selection as GM of the Ottawa Senators, but you would be a fool not to think of him as one of the last remaining remnants of the John Muckler era.
Talking to reporters at a media availability back in January of 2011, Murray made reference to the prospects coming through the pipeline when the Sens were close to initiating the first phases of their rebuilding effort. (Note: skip to the 5:50 mark in the video to hear Murray's draft record comments.)
“Erik Karlsson was my first real draft here, and I say ‘mine’, I mean our staff. And he’s a pretty legitimate player.”
Legitimate indeed and having watched a number of Bryan Murray’s draft classes grow and develop, the man wasn’t wrong.no comments
The Senators waived Jim O'Brien today. Hardly a shocker.
This marks only the third time I can remember the Senators under Bryan Murray waiving a one-way contract. The other occasions being Martin Gerber (who was claimed by the Leafs) and Jonathan Cheechoo (who was an awful hockey player at the time and passed through en route to a buyout).
Jim O'Brien isn't an awful hockey player, he is pretty much the definition of "replaceable player" though. That he was the Sens leading active goal scorer as late as March 5th was something of a minor miracle. A month later he was essentially blacklisted from the team. FORGET ALFIE, WHEN WILL WE GET THE REAL JIM O'BRIEN STORY!!!1
At times he's looked good in preseason, the Ottawa Citizen had a piece Tuesday titled, "Jim O'Brien stakes his claim to roster spot on Senators".
But it wasn't enough.
Now all we have are these memories (I could only think of four)...
February 12, 2011 - Why is this game memorable? It was the Toilet Bowl, and it was broadcast on Hockey Night In Canada. The much hyped showdown between the 30th place Oilers and your 29th place Senators. We the fans hoped Brian Elliott's franchise record 13 game losing streak would continue. Unfortunately the Senators won 5-3, and never really got any closer to last place. This wasn't JOB's first game in the league, and he didn't really figure into the outcome, only 5:42 of TOI, no shots, no points. But he did taking a holding penalty, which treated us to a nice tight shot of his wonderful flow.no comments
On Monday, September 23rd, the Toronto Sports Media Blog reported that Ian Mendes was leaving Rogers Sportsnet to remain in Ottawa full-time to become a Team 1200 (owned by Bell Media) radio host.
I can confirm that this move is indeeed happening and that an official announcement could be made during tonight's Connected Countdown at 6pm.
Obviously this has some ramifications on Sportsnet's Senators broadcasts, but as of yet, I have not heard who will replace Ian. He will be sorely missed however.
Congratulations and best of luck to Ian on his new endeavour. For such a down to earth and great guy, I can only wish you the best in your new endeavour.no comments
Not since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were allegedly in Calabogie racing cars around the Motorsports Park has there been this much ‘small town’ buzz over something, but yes, thanks to ESPN’s Ultimate Team Rankings, much is being made of where the Ottawa Senators ranked.
Through some fan surveying and a formula derived by a sports marketing centre in Seattle, our beloved Sens had the ninth highest ranking amongst North American sports franchises from the MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL.
Yes, it’s all so very exciting, just ask the Ottawa Senators who issued the following press release entitled ‘Ottawa Senators Named No. 1 Professional Sports Team in Canada’.
The only thing missing from the release itself was a 'Suck it Toronto!'no comments