Melnyk: ‘We should be playing hockey by now’

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk says fans don’t care who’s at fault for the NHL lockout, they just want to see some hockey.

Melnyk: ‘We should be playing hockey by now’
Eugene Melnyk (Jana Chytilova/Ottawa Citizen)

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk says fans don’t care who’s at fault for the NHL lockout, they just want to see some hockey.

Melnyk was on Toronto radio station The Fan 590 Wednesday, answering questions about the current work stoppage, the Winter Classic and the owners’ window to contact their players.

“I don’t even know how much I can say or not say other than on a personal basis,” Melnyk explained. “I’m extremely disappointed, like any fan, of where we are. We should be playing hockey by now. Everybody knows it and we’re not. Everybody can fingerpoint all they want, but at the end of the day, I don’t think anybody cares who’s at fault. All they know if we’re not playing hockey, why aren’t we playing hockey?”

Melnyk was also asked about the apathy some youngsters who may not even grasp the issues behind the impasse.

“I think of these kids too, 14 and under, kind of thing, they don’t even understand the concept of what’s going on. All they know is, there’s no hockey. So it’s a huge disappointment. You know, this should not happen, but it did, you you gotta do the best you can and live with it and hopefully resolve it and get back to playing.

Melnyk also revealed he was a rabid baseball fan when he was younger, but after the 1994 strike that wiped out the World Series, he was “gone.”

Now his baseball knowledge amounts to knowing “a guy named Rodriguez” and that he “makes a lot of money.

“I’m telling you, I couldn’t name another player, and I don’t care.”

Major League Baseball suffered a great deal at the time and needed 10 years to get attendance back to where it was pre-strike.

As for the Winter Classic, which is expected to be cancelled in the next couple days, Melnyk said: “Well I think it’s an important part of the game. It’s very widely, you know, it’s got a huge, huge audience. It’s extremely profitable for the NHL, which means its also profitable for everyone else. It is, you know, it has become a marquee event. It’s something that I think is very very important to everyone to promote the game everywhere. I mean, it’s a big, big deal.

Melnyk also said he didn’t take advantage of the NHL’s window that allowed owners and general managers to talk to the players.

“Personally, I didn’t do any kind of outbound calls or anything like that.”

You can listen to the entire interview here.

Tags: , ,

What do you think? Leave a comment