So, it’s been a bit of an awkward morning for Eugene Melnyk.
Remember back in March where the Ottawa Senators owner went on TSN Radio in Ottawa and talked about the Leafs?
Melnyk told Ottawa’s CFRA 580 Radio Friday that trading Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, and Mark Stone at the trade deadline last month has set up an important summer for his management staff. He added, however, that the Senators will not rush in their rebuild.
”You don’t do a rebuild with a short-term view. You’ve got to have, and it’s tough in sports, a five-year outlook and if you don’t all you’re doing is patching up. I know a team that you know that’s done it for 53 years,” Melnyk said referring to the Maple Leafs. “They’ve been selling out, but all they do is they’ve been patching up. Finally, they collapsed the team, said ‘We’ve got to a rebuild,’ but mistakes were made and somebody forgot about defence.
”And whether we get support at the attendance or not, I’m going to do this because it’s something I’m committed to and we intend to win a Stanley Cup and I don’t have another 50 years to do it.”
”They’re going to have a tough time winning a Stanley Cup without defence,” Melnyk said. “They’re hitting the cap. They can’t bring anybody new in, so they’re stuck. And that’s where you have to be extremely careful.”
Well, the Senators addressed their defensive situation now by adding key pieces like trading for former Toronto Maple Leaf Nikita Zaitsev, signing Ron Hainsey, to a $3.5 million deal (a $700,000 raise that still doesn’t get them to the cap floor), while hiring former defensive coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs DJ Smith.
Updated with contract dollars: Nikita Zaitsev and Connor Brown for Cody Ceci is official
Those moves will show Senators fans that they are serious in their rebuild and won’t forget to upgrade their defense, unlike those lousy Toronto Maple Leafs.