stats
globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space


Search

space
  This site         Tips

  
space
  The Web Google
space
   space



space

  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology

space
Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

   Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...

space

Services
   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    

PRINT EDITION
How dysfunctional are the Ottawa Senators? Let us count the ways
space
space
By ROY MACGREGOR
  
  

Email this article Print this article
Wednesday, June 20, 2018 – Page B11

OTTAWA -- Of all the awful and ridiculous and simply unbelievable things that have happened to the Ottawa Senators over the past year, it is the smallest that most delights the comics and headline writers.

Earlier this month, with the Senators' annus horribilis supposedly behind them, Health Canada issued a recall for red infant "onesies" that feature the team logo on the front and are fitted with small metal clasps.

The reason for the recall: choking hazard.

Barely a year earlier, the Senators had come within a Game 7 double-overtime goal of reaching the Stanley Cup final. One season later, they finished 30th - the singular bright note being that they were not quite the worst team in the league, a dubious honour that fell to the Buffalo Sabres.

But they were, without any doubt, the most dysfunctional. As respected TSN commentator Ray Ferrero put it recently, "They're the laughing stock of the league.

There's nobody more comical, in a sad way, than Ottawa is now."

Let us, then, count (some of) the ways - each one a step toward the June bombshell that makes all earlier team explosions appear as mere firecrackers: After team owner Eugene Melnyk fired long-time and popular team president Cyril Leeder, supposedly for lagging ticket sales that continued even into the 2017 playoffs, the solution offered by his replacement, Tom Anselmi, to tarp over 1,500 seats in Canadian Tire Centre, backfired. Instead of increasing demand, the covered-over seats only underlined the growing disenchantment with everything from hiked parking fees to the team's style of play under coach Guy Boucher.

After only a year as president, Anselmi left and was replaced by Melnyk himself.

A fall trade of popular forward Kyle Turris was poorly received. General manager Pierre Dorion picked up a good player from the Colorado Avalanche in Matt Duchene, but it also cost the supposedly rebuilding team future first- and third-round draft picks. Turris, who ended up in Nashville in the three-way deal, and his wife, Julie, openly blamed Melnyk, not Dorion, for forcing the deal in order to save on future salary.

On the eve of Ottawa's outdoor game, supposedly to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday and 100 years of the NHL, Melnyk hinted he might be forced to move the team should ticket sales not improve. It would not, the NHL was quick to respond, be his decision - but the mere suggestion outraged the fan base.

Fans raised money through crowdfunding to put up billboards around the city with the hashtag #MelnykOut. Melnyk may have saved the club from bankruptcy in 2003, but many fans were now of the opinion they had to save the franchise from him.

Daniel Alfredsson, the beloved former team captain who had returned to the team in an executive role, only to leave pretty quickly, was quoted by a local political blogger as wanting Melnyk gone and a new owner in. Alfredsson said he and Mayor Jim Watson were agreed on this point.

Watson had clearly grown impatient with Melnyk's commitment to his partnership in a billion-dollar development on LeBreton Flats that would include a new arena. The residential-retailentertainment project is expected to revitalize the barren grounds west of Parliament Hill and, in no small part, justify Ottawa's $2.1-billion light-rail transit (LRT) line that is to be completed this fall.

Assistant general manager Randy Lee was charged by police in Buffalo at the end of May with harassing a 19-year-old hotel shuttle driver by rubbing the young man's shoulders after being asked not to do so, and making suggestive remarks. The alleged incident occurred while Lee was attending the league's scouting combine for young prospects. Lee has pleaded not guilty, but the team has suspended him until the court rules on the non-criminal violation charge.

All this, however, was nothing compared with what came next.

A week ago, news broke that Melinda Karlsson, wife of captain Erik Karlsson, the team's best player and face of the franchise, had filed an order of protection against the girlfriend of forward Mike Hoffman, alleging that Monika Caryk had undertaken a covert cyberbullying campaign against the Karlssons, including anonymous attacks on their baby son, who was stillborn in March.

In the application for a peace bond, Melinda claimed that the attacker wished her dead, as well, and hoped that someone would "take out" Erik's legs to "end his career."

Caryk and Hoffman were quick to deny any involvement and, while police are said to be investigating, no charges have been laid.

Hoffman and Karlsson had, ironically, combined little more than a year ago on what will likely stand as the Senators' most glorious single play: a soaring Karlsson saucer pass from beside his own net that flew three-quarters of the way down the ice before landing, perfectly, on the tape of Hoffman's stick, allowing him a clear breakaway in which he deposited the puck, one-handed, behind Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask.

But all that is in the past. This is the ugly present and, no matter what the legal outcome, the hockey outcome was never in doubt: one or the other, perhaps even both, would be leaving town - and most assuredly not going to the same destination. Hoffman seemed, by far, the most likely to go, as Karlsson is considered the cornerstone of any future return to respectability for the team.

Fans are fearful that instead of being offered a rich extension to stay on beyond the end of his current deal, Karlsson could be dealt elsewhere.

On Tuesday, three days before the NHL gathers in Dallas for the 2018 entry draft, where the Senators have the fourth overall pick, Dorion traded Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks, with the Sharks then handing him off to the Florida Panthers in a subsequent deal.

In exchange for the 28-year-old Hoffman - a proven goal scorer - along with a minor prospect, Ottawa received Mikkel Boedker, a versatile 28-year-old forward who is Denmark's highest-drafted player, and a minor-league defenceman.

Initial reaction in Ottawa was lukewarm to cool regarding the hockey sense the trade makes - something that cannot possibly be known for some time.

In common sense, however, the trade's value was immediate.

Never before in the game's history, perhaps, has a trade announcement emphasized off-ice value above on-ice potential.

"Today's trade," Dorion said in a telling statement, "showcases our determination to strengthen the future of the team by improving chemistry, leadership and character in the locker room and on the ice."

As of the moment, the on-ice concerns of this troubled team, deep as they are, are not the immediate concerns.


Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Lysiane_Gagnon Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail
 

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement
space

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.

Advertisement

7-Day Site Search
    

Breaking News



Today's Weather


Inside

Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes


Editorial
Where Manley is going with his first budget




space

Columnists



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.

 National


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
space
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
space
Margaret Wente arrow
Counterpoint
space
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game
space
 Business


Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
space
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
space
Mathew Ingram arrow
space
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
space
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
space
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
space
Andrew Willis arrow
Streetwise
space
 Sports


Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
space
Eric Duhatschek arrow
space
Allan Maki arrow
space
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
space
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
Golf
space
 The Arts


John Doyle arrow
Television
space
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
space
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
space
Johanna Schneller arrow
Moviegoer
space
 Comment


Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
space
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
space
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
space
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
space
Paul Knox arrow
Worldbeat
space
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
space
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
space
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
space
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
space
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
space
William Thorsell arrow
space





Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page