You can call Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk a lot of things... but you sure as Hell can't call him a pessimist.
Melnyk, always ready with a ridiculous quote, told The Financial Post's Joe O'Connor that the Sens will be a Stanley Cup champion "within four years."
Check it out:
“I truly believe that we are a Stanley Cup winner within four years. It can happen any time, but within four years.”
Uh... like four years from now?
For the record the Sens have not made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in three years and they've been a bottom 3 franchise in the league over that same span. Despite Melnyk's optimism, this team isn't competing for a Stanley Cup anytime soon. Sure, there's reason to be excited for the future if you're a Sens fan, but let's not get carried away. Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot are fantastic players. Third overall selection Tim Stuetzle has the potential to be a star player, as well. But there's no Nikita Kucherov on this team... there's no Brayden Point... there's no Victor Hedman... there's no Andrei Vasilevsky... and so on. My point is that the Sens still have a loooooong way to go before they should even be thinking about the Stanley Cup. For Melnyk to put this idea out there only sets the team up for a huge disappointment.
The fact of the matter though is that once the Sens are ready to compete for a Stanley Cup, Melnyk likely won't even keep the team together. History has shown us that if you're a star player in Ottawa, you have to go elsewhere to get paid. Star players like Alexei Yashin, Daniel Alfredsson, Erik Karlsson, Mark Stone and Matt Duchene have all been forced to leave the franchise in order to get market value contracts. With COVID-19 set to absolute decimate the Senators' revenue over the next season what makes you think that Melnyk is going to suddenly open up his checkbook? I'll believe it when I see it...
Interestingly enough, Melnyk has reportedly come up with a plan that will allow up to 6,000 fans to attend Senators games at Canadian Tire Centre this upcoming season and he feels it's a plan that the entire NHL can adopt. According to an article in The Financial Post, Melnyk's plan includes out a safe seating for 6,000 fans, with fans bubbled in small groups, and with at least two empty seats plus a row between bubbles.
For the full article from The Financial Post, click below: