View the original article on Last Word On Hockey: Classless and Embarrassing — How Ottawa Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk has Hit a New Low

CANADA – JUNE 25: Eugene Melnyk, founder of Biovail Corp, speaks at a news conference to announce the launch of Trimel Pharmaceuticals in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday, June 25, 2008. Biovail Corp.’s disputed board election will land in a Canadian court, extending the drugmaker’s battle for control with founder Melnyk at least until a July 8 hearing. (Photo by Norm Betts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Eugene Melnyk has had his fair share of embarrassing moments for as long as Ottawa Senators fans can remember, and it seems like it won’t be going away anytime soon. After joining Ottawa’s CFRA radio station for an interview Thursday morning, Eugene Melnyk hit a new low.

Attacking Media Members

In the midst of the interview with the owner, Ian Mendes, host of The Drive on Ottawa’s TSN 1200 vowed to play a clip of a frustrated fan for Eugene Melnyk. The Sens owner went on to criticize Mendes and go as far as calling him “bush league”. For the type of respect that Ian Mendes gets in the industry, the comment goes to show how it’s actually Mr. Melnyk who is of that sort.

Although a comment so disrespectful can be a shock to fans and people around the league, many still understand how this is just another day in the office for Eugene. But his lack of class on Thursday was something that was not only extremely rude — it also showed just how little thought the owner puts into the words that come out of his own mouth. Words that go as far as insulting media members of the city he owns an NHL franchise in.

For someone who threatened that moving the team is possible not too long ago, his frustration about how fans comment on the organization’s status makes is purely childish. If you do not appreciate comments from fans surrounding the franchise you run, then you should look at cleaning house entirely. And it should start with Eugene Melnyk himself.

Melnyk’s Comments on Prime Time Sports

Another puzzling aspect of the whole Melnyk situation happened on Wednesday when he questioned just how devoted and loyal Senators fans really are. Melnyk joined Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet and rambled on about how the Senators have had success in recent memory, and how the team has to identify “real fans” accurately. Imagine being upset over fans not liking the direction the team is headed for. Rightfully so.

Here’s the full quote from Emily Sadler’s piece on it from Sportsnet.ca about the fans and the success the team has had:

“For our fans that are real fans, we’re doing the best we can. All we can do is keep doing what we’ve been doing. We’ve had a great record for the past 15-16 years.”

Yes, the Senators have indeed had some success in the past years, but Eugene is trying to make it sound like the team is a contender year after year. Simply not true at all. For someone who owns a team that just traded away Mark Stone and a superstar like Erik Karlsson before, Melnyk is pretty confident to bring up past winnings considering the Senators look like they’re going to be awful for a few years now.

The Ottawa Senators Franchise Success

As mentioned before, Melnyk was not completely off when he said the Senators organization has had it’s fair share amount of success before. But if you really look at the long-term numbers, here is how the Senators really shape up. All of these stats are since their Cup Final appearance in 2007.

2007-08: First round exit against the Pittsburgh Penguins

2008-09: Missed post-season, 36-35-11 record

2009-10: First round exit against the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games

2010-11: Missed post-season

2011-12: First round exit against the New York Rangers in seven games

2012-13: Second round exit against the Pittsburgh Penguins in five games

2013-14: Missed post-season

2014-15: First round exit against the Montreal Canadiens in six games

2015-16: Missed post-season

2016-17: Eastern Conference Final exit  against the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games

2017-18: Missed post-season

2018-19: Let’s not kid ourselves here

Ever since their outstanding 2007 season, the Ottawa Senators have been the definition of mediocre. Soon to be six seasons where they’ve missed the playoffs, four first-round exits, one second-round appearance with a booting and one ECF final appearance.

The goal in the NHL is to win the Stanley Cup. Yes, you have to qualify for the post-season first, but Melnyk doesn’t realize that you actually have to make noise in the playoffs also. The Senators have not had anywhere near the amount of long-term success for Melnyk to bring it up in the manner he did.

The End Game and Eugene Melnyk

Eugene Melnyk is what Ottawa Senators fans consider their worst enemy right now. In order for this franchise to have any bit of success, the first step to that formula is Melnyk selling the franchise. The fans have had enough of his unwillingness to really build a winning team. In order to do that, you need to pay your superstars which is something Eugene Melnyk doesn’t look forward to.

His stubbornness on paying bonuses has cost him superstars like Erik Karlsson and most likely former winger Mark Stone, who was sent to Vegas at this year’s trade deadline. The end game in all of this is hoping that Eugene Melnyk sells the team one day.

With a weak-minded owner like him at the helm, the chance of any winning in the future is slim for the Ottawa Senators and their respected fanbase.

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