At the mark of yesterday’s Fan 590 Hockey Central at Noon program, the three hosts – Darren Millard, Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean – an assemblage of some of the most brilliant minds in hockey, sat around and discussed the ramifications of the lockout.
When the topic of cancelling the next block of games was broached, the issue with finding alternative sources to fill the various arenas to generate revenue streams led to Doug MacLean chiming in with information that some owners are desperate to generate some revenue.
Using the audio player that I have embedded at the bottom of the post, you can listen to this specific banter which approximately starts at 9 minute 19 second mark to catch. For the visually inclined, the following is a transcript of what was said:
MacLean: “I heard last night that there is a couple of teams that I said last year that were on the market for sale and I’ve heard this week that there’s people in actually looking at peoples’ books right now.”
Kypreos: “Can you tell us which teams?”
MacLean: “I can’t divulge that. As an insider, I have to protect my sources.”
Millard: “Would one be in Ontario?”
MacLean: “One could be in Ontario…”
MacLean: “and it’s not the Markham franchise…”
If you listen closely enough to the audio, you can actually hear the mice running on the exercise wheels inside MacLean and Kypreos’ heads.
Regardless of what you think of the Hockey Central’s panel, from the dialogue and tone of their voices, the hosts beat around the bush like they already knew the answer to the question.
If you’ll recall on Monday, September 12th, 2011, Doug MacLean brought up the state of the Senators finances on this same radio program.
“The Ottawa Senators, rumo(ur) is, that they lost $14 million last year. So what’s their payroll down this year from last? $14 million. I mean, eventually you have to get your business in order. All of a sudden, Ottawa is in a rebuilding. Why are they in a rebuilding? Well, because they had to drop their payroll by $14 million so that they don’t lose a fortune...”
Which led to Kypreos chiming in with a, “And rumblings is whether or not Eugene Melnyk is in the running for the long run too.”
Now with MLSE recently being sold to the Bell/Rogers media conglomerates, it’s pretty clear that the Eugene Melnyk’s Ottawa Senators are one of the team’s that MacLean is indirectly referring to.
Having already been one of the first teams to lay off employees in reaction to this season’s lockout, coupled with some unfounded rumblings that Melnyk’s divorce might have hit him pretty hard in the wallet, the rumours, hyperbole and speculation is only going to intensify now.
Already possessing one of the league’s smallest payrolls, last season’s financial turnaround and news that the team was poised to break even for the first time in years, with any home playoff dates serving as the cherry on top of a surprisingly successful campaign certainly makes it a much more attractive to sell on the market.
Note: The original audio file can be found at the Hockey Central on Sportnet’s Fan 590 site.