Senators' Melnyk Stresses To BOG He Is Not Selling Team
Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk took the floor at last week's NHL BOG meeting to let the "rest of the NHL know that he’s not selling the club," according to Elliotte Friedman of SPORTSNET.ca. It is interesting that Melnyk was "given the opportunity to do it in that setting," and it seems he "wanted the other owners to hear it from him -- directly." One governor said that he took Melnyk's message to be that the "downtown building process is going to take a long, long time" (SPORTSNET.ca, 10/10). Friedman over the weekend reported Melnyk "gave an impassioned speech about how he’s in Ottawa for the long haul despite what other governors and owners may have read in the media." Melynk "plans to be there for a long time and he said he ‘relishes the underdog role.’" Friedman: "He’s gonna be there long enough for the Senators to turn around" ("HNIC," Sportsnet, 10/6).
LOOKING FOR SUPPORT: In Ottawa, Don Brennan reports the Senators announced an attendance of 13,215 for last night's game against the Flyers, but that "seemed inflated for the second home game of the season." People within the press box "estimated 11,000-12,000 fans were in the stands" at the game. The capacity at Canadian Tire Centre is 18,652. The team announced a crowd of 15,858 for the season opener last week against the Blackhawks, when season-ticket holders were "offered a pair of freebies as a 'token of appreciation.'" The Senators knew they "wouldn’t be getting a big walk-up crowd for the Flyers game." Expecting a "smaller turnout, the team cut game day staff in some areas." The team also reduced "parking in the 'premium' lots" for last night's game from $30 to $25 and from $35 to $30 (OTTAWA SUN, 10/11).