And speaking of oblique move threats, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk dropped some more on Friday:
“If it doesn’t look good here, it could look very, very nice somewhere else, but I’m not suggesting that right now. All I’m saying is that I would never sell the team.”
This isn’t anything new, as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman just said essentially the same thing last month, though it is new for Melnyk to say it quite so bluntly. Melnyk is still angling for final development rights (and a discounted price) for land for a new arena in Ottawa, and hinting at moving the team is always a good way to turn up the heat on that, except of course that the easiest alternative option would be Quebec, and he’d have to sell the team to have it go there since Quebecor wants to own any team that plays in its new arena, so that’s out if “would never sell the team” is a hard and fast rule. And Seattle is reportedly only being considered for an expansion franchise, so … Houston? Are we supposed to think that it looks “very, very nice” in Houston for the Ottawa Senators? It’d really help if team owners would be more specific about their threats, though I suppose being specific is exactly the opposite of the effect they’re shooting for.