James Gordon of the Ottawa Citizen published an article today, getting Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk’s take on a lot of issues, not the least of which was the decision of Daniel Alfredsson to leave town when Free Agency opened on July 5th.
“You can’t have it both ways and say, ‘Well I want this for me, but I want you to do this with me and the team.’ It’s ‘which one do you want?’”-Melnyk to the Ottawa Citizen
Well, I construe that as Melnyk pointing the finger at Alfredsson, and he is partially right. Like I have said all along, both sides are to blame for what happened and the divorce between team and its face. But what Melnyk failed to acknowledge was the money Alfredsson had saved him by playing for below market value for the duration of his last contract, and the goodwill for the team Alfredsson had created. Surely that was worth something, and on a short-term 1 or 2 year deal the extra funds could have been considered “back pay”. Normally I wouldn’t be a proponent of such a deal, but this was a once-in-a-franchise player, and he was disrespected.
Melnyk continues to talk out of both sides of his mouth, while on one side saying he is fine financially and on the other stating that the “razor-thin margins” are affecting his ability to spend.
Its still troubling to me, and he can operate the team how he sees fit, but not finding the money to bring in Alfredsson and Ryan at the same time doesn’t fill me with optimism for the next couple of years. Nor does the apparent “what have you done for me lately” attitude.
And now, in a relatively back-handed way Melnyk has thrown Alfredsson under the bus, so what might Alfredsson say when (and if) he finally speaks publicly. My bet is Alfie will have more class than than to throw the organization under the bus in the same manner.