Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ottawa Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk 'Not Embarrassed' by Low Payroll

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ottawa Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk 'Not Embarrassed' by Low Payroll

Article excerpt

Sens owner 'not embarrassed' by low payroll

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OTTAWA - Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk says he has no reason to feel embarrassed about his team's lack of spending.

Ottawa's payroll of US$55,804,597 is the lowest in the NHL leaving them plenty of room to spend, but don't expect Melnyk to open his wallet any time soon.

"I'm not the least embarrassed about us spending at the bottom," Melnyk said Monday afternoon at his 11th annual charity skate for kids. "I'm happy about it because we'll be able to spend more in the future and some can't. Some are stuck."

That being said, Melnyk is in no rush to increase his team's payroll despite his team's current position outside the playoff picture.

The Senators are 11th in the Eastern Conference at 12-12-5 and would need to make some significant improvements to move into the top eight.

Melnyk said he and general manager Bryan Murray spoke as recently as Monday morning.

"We're not in any way restricted," said Melnyk. "(Murray) has not come back to me and he said there's nothing out there that he could actually spend money on."

That's not to say the Senators aren't prepared to increase their payroll. With a number of players facing restricted free agency this summer Melnyk says they won't have any choice but to spend.

For now, however, it appears the Senators will wait and see if its recent coaching change has any impact on the team's fortunes.

The Senators fired head coach Paul MacLean last week and promoted Dave Cameron, who had been an assistant, to take over the coaching duties.

Many assumed Cameron was Melnyk's choice seeing as the two share a long history.

"Let's get this straight once and for all," Melnyk said. "(Murray) makes the decisions. I stay out of the hockey operations, because otherwise if I get myself involved in that then I can't come out and point the finger at anybody."

Melnyk said he was consulted on the decision to fire MacLean, but left the final decision up to Murray.

"I just let him do his thing," Melnyk said. …

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