NHL Franchise Notes: Senators Owner Says Lockout Was "Extremely" Painful Financially
In Ottawa, James Gordon reported the Senators are "operating under an internal player salary budget" of just over C$50M. The club has C$50.8M in salary "committed already ... with young restricted free agent defenceman Jared Cowen still to sign." Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk said that the team's budget is a necessary move because of the "razor-thin margins his team operates under." He added that between "player costs, operating expenditures and capital improvements, revenues haven’t kept pace." Melnyk acknowledged the lockout-shortened season was "extremely financially painful." He noted that he and GM Bryan Murray had a "long discussion about what it would take to ice a competitive squad" and the number came in at around C$50M (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 8/10).
BLUE SKIES: In St. Louis, Jeremy Rutherford reported the Blues have $57M "committed in cash payroll" for the '13-14 season. The $4.8M increase from last year’s payroll ranks fifth "among NHL teams in biggest boosts this offseason." But the Blues’ figure "doesn’t account for the re-signing" of restricted free agent D Alex Pietrangelo. If he is paid more than $3.8M in '13-14, the Blues "will leap over Nashville to No. 1." Blues Owner Tom Stillman: “When we purchased the Blues a little over a year ago, we said that our plan was to straighten out the business side and put a strong, competitive, contending team on the ice. In my view, all we’re doing here is following through on what we said we would do" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/12).
RAISING ARIZONA: NBCSPORTS.com's Joe Yerdon noted Coyotes GM Don Maloney is "happy to have some worries put to rest" regarding the status of the team's ownership. Maloney said, "I don’t want to say the job’s easier, but a lot of uncertainties have been limited. We feel as much relief as anything else in the sense that we’ve just eliminated those questions. When you feel like you’re a ward of the state, which basically we were, it’s nice to know people don’t have to talk about this anymore and we can just talk about the job we do on the ice" (NBCSPORTS.com, 8/11).