TSN’s Bob MacKenzie reported on twitter this morning that the Senators offered forward Ales Hemsky a 3 year, $10M deal, which rightfully so, Hemsky flatly turned down. As such, the Senators will try to trade his negotiating rights before free agency opens up to recoup a draft pick.
Looks like Ales Hemsky going to UFA. OTT offered 3 yrs for about $10M. Rejected. Sens prepared to trade his UFA rights for pick. #TSN
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 16, 2014
The message this low-ball offer sends to the league is that unless you are a 3rd or 4th line grinder then you can’t expect to receive anywhere close to market value.
Look at the contracts of Colin Greening (3 years, just under $8m) and the Senators are willing to pay a 3rd liner $2.65 per season and a skilled player like Hemsky just $3.3M? That low-ball offer coming from the management group is one of the main reasons it will be a long time before the Ottawa Senators are considered anything but an afterthought when it comes to contending teams.
They will be forever in the purgatory of “close but not quite”, never really falling far enough to get top end draft picks, but not being able to get over the hump and advance beyond the first or in rare instances second round of the playoffs.
Bryan Murray is too smart a hockey man to let them fall too far, while building from within and then having the handcuffs placed on him by Eugene Melnyk and the team’s internal budget not allowing him to spread the team’s wings to the point where Ottawa is a favorable destination for players any longer.
The Senators low-balled Daniel Alfredsson, forcing him to leave town which put a lot of pressure on Jason Spezza, who couldn’t take the heat and asked out. Now the laughable offer to Hemsky that seemed just enough to put a public face to an offer so they can say they “tried”.
The organization is trending downward and they are on the verge of being flushed out completely because they won’t spend the money where it is needed. Melnyk has to unshackle Murray’s hands before it is too late and the fans simply stop showing up. Then Melnyk will make his public pleas to show up because he is “losing money” again and the vicious circle will continue.
Building from within is only one column in the building of a successful franchise. I am not saying Hemsky is the answer for what ails the Senators, but this negotiation, as I said a couple of weeks ago, is the tipping point for the future direction of the club, and now it is officially trending south.