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Volume 26 No. 60
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Senators, Eugene Melnyk Draw Criticism For Team's Low Salary Cap

The '19-20 cap number is technically above the $60.2M league floor, but actual salary expenses are lower
Photo: getty images

The Senators are "circumventing 'the spirit'" of the NHL salary cap "using a combination of healthy rostered players, 'dead' cap space from injured players and buyouts to crest over the cap floor," according to Greg Wyshynski of ESPN.com. The Senators currently have a "projected cap number of $65,859,999," which is "snugly above the lower limit" of the '19-20 salary cap, which was set at $60.2M. Without injured RWs Ryan Callahan and Marian Gaborik and LW Clarke MacArthur, the Senators have a "total cap number of $50,534,999." But according to Cap Friendly, the Senators' "actual NHL salary expense" will be $47.5M. Wyshynski wrote once again, the "victims of this farce" are Senators fans. There is a "youth movement afoot," but there is a "world of difference between embracing a rebuild and icing a product" that is nearly $20M cheaper than its inflated cap figure, and only a few dollars above the minimum amount the NHL expects its teams to pay players. But that is the "norm in Owner Eugene Melnyk's world" (ESPN.com, 8/1).

CASH CUTBACK: YAHOO SPORTS' Ryan Lambert wrote Melnyk’s "cash-poor approach to running the organization is in evidence everywhere on this roster." It is "likely that nine players at a minimum will be earning less than a million against the cap before rookie performance bonuses." On the one hand, this "maneuvering is admirable because if you’re gonna bottom out, you might as well bottom all the way out and maximize your opportunity to get as many high-end picks as you can." But on the other, this has to be "troublesome" for Senators and NHL fans. Melnyk "seemingly isn’t doing anything" with the $25M he is "saving by not pushing this team to the cap ceiling." Lambert: "It’s only going back to Melnyk" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/31). SPORTSNET.ca's Wayne Scanlan noted the Senators "don’t make moves without taking their bottom line into consideration." So much for the salary cap structure "ensuring league parity" (SPORTSNET.ca, 7/31).