Not surprisingly, Eugene Melnyk’s pledge to spend close to the salary cap from 2021-25 is being met with some skepticism.
Darren Dreger had a Thursday morning radio hit on Montreal’s TSN 690.
The Insider was asked for his thoughts on the news from the Ottawa Senators owner, with morning show host Conor McKenna flatly saying, “I don’t believe him.”
“Well, you’d be in the vast majority Conor,” replied Dreger. “There aren’t many who believe that that fact is truthful. I think that the skeptics out there would say, ‘Let’s see it. Let’s see it first. Prove it. And then we’ll stop questioning the long-term future of the Ottawa Senators, and whether or not they’re going to be a cap team or a budget team.’
“I think that this would be a recent development, if in fact it’s true. Because my sense, up until this town hall meeting - where, by the way, the players I think attended the meeting. It happened a couple of days ago, and a couple of sources indicated that there were a number of players who were surprised by the proclamation as well.
“But the information that I had been given up until this meeting was that Pierre Dorion was going to have to do some magic tricks, because he believed I’m sure that he was going to have to manage with a budget in terms of his payroll.
“So good on Eugene Melnyk. If that’s true, and he wants to spend to the cap, then that’s good news for some of the unrestricted free agents who are still trying negotiate their way to either leave or stay.”
Matt Duchene and Mark Stone are the two high-profile pending unrestricted free agents that the Senators will either be signing or trading before the February 25 trade deadline.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly