Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk just can't stop putting his foot in his mouth.
After already having made a number of controversial comments earlier in the evening, including touching on a potential relocation, Melnyk continued to spew verbal diarrhea about his team and again it came off like threats to his own fan base.
“I think the market here has to prove itself, or you have to make changes," said Melnyk. "We’ve cut everything to the bone in the organization. We are probably one of the thinnest management groups in the league. The next thing you have to look at is players."
That sounds an awful lot like an owner telling his fans that if they don't start showing up to games he will be getting rid of his more expensive players in order to save money. Melnyk continued by hinting at the fact that he wouldn't keep footing the bill for the lack of attendance.
"Here, we’re fighting every day to sell a ticket. Honest to god. And when you get to the 3rd rd of the playoffs and you’re begging people to buy a ticket, something’s wrong with that picture. How long can you underwrite a team? Like literally underwrite. Write a cheque."
A few days ago former Sens forward Kyle Turris said that Melnyk was the man responsible for the Sens failure to sign him to a new long-term deal. General manager Pierre Dorion came out and refuted that claim, but Melnyk's comments make Turris' version of events seem much more believable.
Melnyk threatening to cut players to save money also sounds an awful lot like he may have no desire to sign Erik Karlsson to a long-term contract, something that may explain the trade rumors around the star defenseman.