For those out of town who do not get Sun info, here is a nice piece from Garrioch.http://www.ottawasun.com/Sports/Hockey/2005/07/29/1151752-sun.html
Senators owner Eugene Melnyk will be in town today to meet with team president Roy Mlakar and GM John Muckler before tomorrow's NHL entry draft at the Westin Hotel.
They'll sit down to map out the future and talk about how the new collective bargaining agreement will shape the franchise.
Before Melnyk boarded a plane to Ottawa from Barbados, he consented to a one-on-one telephone interview with Sun hockey writer Bruce Garrioch. Here is an edited transcript of their conversation: SUN: You must be pleased this lockout is over and hockey will be back in September?
MELNYK: No question about it. This was painful as a fan and an owner to sit out a season. I'm pretty sure it will never happen again. SUN: But you knew when you bought the team this was going to happen ... Maybe not a season, but you knew this had to be fixed?
MELNYK: Absolutely. I had it laid out for me by Gary Bettman and Bill Daly. They said there was a possibility we could have to sit out a half a season or a full season and it could be even longer. When I looked at the books buying the team, it was obvious the team couldn't survive under the existing system without cost certainty. That was pretty well the most important thing for us. Whatever it took, we had to get there just to have the franchise survive. I'm not just talking about our franchise, I'm talking about a lot of franchises. SUN: Why is this deal so important to Ottawa?
MELNYK: Eventually, it will put Ottawa on a level playing field with all the big markets. We were very fortunate over the last five years that we were able to put a great team on the ice with the budget we had. It's almost miraculous that happened. That happened because of a good hockey operation, smart drafting, good player development and a little bit of luck. Eventually, luck runs out and you could be overtaken by teams that continue to throw big money at players and that's just by sheer spending. Now, over time, I think we will be in a tremendous position when these people that have been able to spend can't do it anymore. The one competitive advantage they had was cash. That has been taken off the table. Over time, if we stay smart, get a little bit of luck and continue to develop our players, we will be at the top of the game for a long time. more
EDIT: quote shortened and link to article added