Ottawa Senators’ owner Eugene Melnyk seems to be on board for the Sens to add a power forward at the March 5 NHL Trade Deadline. However, it looks like that might be all he is willing to do.
When it comes to acquiring the power forward and spending the money to do it, Melnyk had this to say to the Ottawa Sun.
“Especially when it’s this tight… I’m a true believer that once the playoff starts there’s no such thing as one-pointers. It’s for all the marbles.
“At that point, anything can happen and I think that’s where you really get the benefit of not having people in the Olympics, fresh legs as well. I know (Murray) is talking to people all the time even though he took a little break he said he’s on the phone daily almost.”
“(Murray’s) looking. If we can get a power forward in there that’s the only piece we need subject to any injuries. Knock on wood with that one because we’ve had a very good year with injuries compared to some other ones.”
Obviously, Melnyk thinks that acquiring a power forward will help the Senators get over the hump and into the playoffs. He definitely wants the Senators to challenge for a Stanley Cup, but it’s his other views about the NHL’s salary cap that could prevent the Senators from doing that very soon.
“This is not a money machine for me. It’s quite the contrary… At the end of the day, at one point, you sit back and you say, ‘Any guy would have packed it in a long time ago and said get me out of here I’m not going to keep feeding this thing.’
“People like me love the game and want to stay in the game. To stay in the game you need to have some kind of budget. This is what I don’t get: Everybody else on the planet, everybody knows what they make and everybody knows what they spend. It’s called a budget. It’s a very simple word and concept. You can’t just go in and spend to the max.”
If Melnyk believes that you can’t go in and spend to the max, the Senators might want to look for a new owner. Sure, there have been some good teams that had an internal cap, but a lot of spend a lot and spend as much as they’re allowed.
Melnyk also believes that cap won’t continue to rise very high.
“At some point you could be stuck because the cap has come down. Then, you go, ‘Wait a minute, it’s come down and I’ve got to unload $5 or $10 million worth of salary.’ That day will come,” said Melnyk. “It’s like the stock market. You can’t go straight up all the time. Eventually there’s correction and it rebuilds. You’ve got to leave yourself with some room.
“I don’t care if people criticize me. The fact is the team has survived in very difficult circumstances.”
He might care about criticism, but here we go. The salary cap will for sure go up again after this season. It will probably go up again after the 2014-15 season and the 2015-16 season as well. If the salary cap ever stops growing, it will because the NHL is no longer making money.
This decision by Melnyk could spell trouble for the Senators in the next few years.