According to a report from NHL insider Andy Strickland, the ongoing negotiations between the Ottawa Senators and unsigned restricted free agent Brady Tkachuk are... well... not ongoing.
Stickland reports that a "lack of communication" between the team is the main reason why he hasn't signed just a week out from the start of the regular season. Stickland reports that the team's insistence on a long-term deal is a stumbling block in negotiations and he specifically puts that blame on owner Eugene Melnyk.
Lack of communication from Ottawa to the Brady Tkachuk camp is a big reason of what’s preventing Tkachuk from being signed. The Senators Owner has a history of this with star players. The team is set only on signing Tkachuk to a 7 or 8 year term vs doing a bridge deal. The Senators, at times, has gone several days w/o reaching out to the Tkachuk camp. There’s a solution and a deal to be made. Again organization has a history of this with star players.
I'm sorry, but excuse me!?
The team has gone days without communicating to the player?
The Senators season begins in exactly one week and Tkachuk is without a doubt their most important forward and arguably their most important player period. I'm not saying that you have to bow down to whatever his demands are, but at this point in time you have to negotiate in good faith. I understand the desire to lock down a guy like Tkachuk for as long as possible, but if he's not willing to commit long-term maybe you should take that as a bit of a sign?
Look at the Vancouver Canucks and their long negotiations with Elias Pettersson this offseason. Certainly the team would have preferred to lock him up to a seven or eight year deal, but after months of negotiations it became clear to the team that a shorter term "bridge" deal was best for both parties. Now, Pettersson is locked up for three years, he's with the team in training camp and he's on a very reasonable salary and cap hit for the Canucks. Pettersson can commit long-term to Vancouver and get even more money in three years, provided that he proves his worth. To me, this is the exact type of approach the Sens should be taking with Tkachuk at this juncture.
Doesn't that make sense?
Oh wait... I nearly forgot that this team is owned and essentially run by Melnyk... common sense is out the window in that case...