Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why are the Ottawa Senators losing money?

Melnyk was devastated to learn the post
would not include any Heatley jokes.
According to news reports, the Ottawa Senators lost money this season for the second year in a row. When I first read that, I assumed it was a mistake. I'm sure most of you did too.

After all, the game is booming in Canada. TV ratings are soaring, the dollar is strong, and there's even talk of adding more teams in the Great White North. How is it possible that a team in a city that unironically calls itself "Hockey Country" could be losing money?

Unfortunately, it's true. And after crunching some numbers and holding off-the-record discussions with several front office staff, I think I know why.
  • That whole "Alexei Kovalev will act like he vaguely gives a crap or your money back" promotion was probably a bad idea.

  • Foolishly bet Mike Fisher $100 that he wouldn't have the guts to ask out the next former reality show C-lister who walked through the door.

  • Probably should have listened to Andy Sutton and ensured that financial advisors were, in fact, experts.

  • Fans must remember that markets like Toronto and Montreal have certain geographical advantages, such as a larger population base, a more established business community, and an arena that's actually accessible by paved roads.

  • Were stuck paying Jonathan Cheechoo's $3.5 million annual salary, which over the course of the entire season worked out to $7 million per goal.

  • Owner Eugene Melnyk in unconcerned about profits and won't hesitate to spend money because he is completely committed to bringing a championship to the city of Ottawa, or at least that's what he told everyone when he showed up for that one game five months ago.

  • It gets expensive sending a new floral arrangement to Matt Carkner's widow every time Colton Orr comes to town.

  • What, you think designing a new uniform every three months is free?

  • Every time he sees the "how acquired" line in Chris Campoli's media guide bio, Bryan Murray throws another plasma TV through the press box window.

  • The dismissal of longtime club president Roy Mlakar had a devastating impact on revenues from the office swear jar.

  • An increasingly desperate desire to please fans lead to an irresponsible series of costly giveaways. (Wait, I'm sorry, that was meant for the list of "Reasons the Senators should trade Jason Spezza".)

  • For several games in December, briefly exceeded operations budget by hiring a second goddamned parking lot attendant.

  • Are still paying the buyout on the Crazy Fat Motivational Gladiator Guy's contract.

  • What can we say, elite goaltending ain't cheap.

  • Gosh, we have no idea. After all, Ottawa is such an amazing sports town.

  • That futuristic biomechanical exoskeleton we had to install in Daniel Alfredsson after the Mark Bell hit takes like a million batteries.

  • In hindsight, Spartacat's "Crowned Rack of Lamb with Saffron Rice and Apricot-Mint Sauce Master Blaster" probably would have still been popular if we'd just used hot dogs.


  1. Fans must remember that markets like Toronto and Montreal have certain geographical advantages, such as a larger population base, a more established business community, and an arena that's actually accessible by paved roads.

    Love it! Good job!

  2. I think it's important to note that the Sens are competing for entertainment dollars with several other sport franchises such as the Roughri... oh... Ummm... GeeGees?

  3. Yeah, I dream of the day we can make money like the Leafs and enjoy all the succ... er, all the playoff... er, all the draft pi...

    I suppose dumping on the Senators can remind you of your one significant accomplishment over the past 40 years - beating the Senators. Four times. Great.

    Maybe money is a motivator to actually try and compete with the rest of the NHL.

  4. How about the dumb stupid bastards who don't give a rat's left testicle about their goddamned home city's team and insist on blindly and moronically pandering to the financial whims and perennial penis-gazing of the owners and management of one of the most recently unsuccessful sports franchises (on the playing surface, at least), which is also in one of the most pig-headed and self-absorbed cities in the f*cking universe? And I ain't talkin' about the Habs.

    I'm especially the blithering idiots who write a completely and consistently amusing and gut-wrenchingly honest blog Maybe if you occasionally bought the Sens eighth jersey or attended a game at the luxurious and tranquilly located Scotiabank Place that the abomination that is the Toronto Maple Leafs are not playing in, the Sens could afford to use their full f*cking name again. You festering necrotic herpetic scab-laden dickwad.

    P.S., I still love you

  5. @ Goober McFly
    Periods can be your friend! Also, what thesaurus do you use?

  6. @Jehan
    As opposed to scoring the cup winning goal... In your own net.

  7. Picking on Sens fans makes me vaguely uncomfortable- it's like the entire base has a "kick me, hard" sign pasted to their asses. On the other hand, they really, really deserve it.

  8. If I were a Sens fan then I'd demand a trade... just not to Edmonton...

  9. 2010 2nd Overall PickMay 19, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    To the tune of Kool n' The Gang's "Celebrate"



    ...seriously you guys are getting great at bitter jokes keep it up boys!

  10. Bester Than YesterdayMay 19, 2010 at 5:35 PM

    While this was funny, the point about Roy Mlakar leaving can't be overstated. He really was active here and well-liked while raising tons for charities all over the city.

    Leeder is good in a bean-counter sort of way but he has the liveliness of an eggplant, while Murray has the charm of an inbred llama trainer that outspits his charges.

    In short, mediocre team with mediocre management and an owner too drunk to realize his team really sucks.

    P.S. I've lived in Ottawa since 1973 and I've lived and loathed the Leafs since then. The Sens can suck it until they have some presence outside the National Capital Region (and I don't mean Gatineau...)

  11. Cue a whole bunch of posts from outraged Sens fans calling for DGB to be suspended.

  12. All the leafs have now is bashing the Sens... leafs have no success, no post season appearances, no draft picks, no hope... total joke of the NHL. Burke is off his rocker.

  13. All the leafs have now is bashing the Sens... leafs have no success, no post season appearances, no draft picks, no hope... total joke of the NHL.


    gtfo Alfie

  14. In DGB's defense guys, he is generally pretty forthcoming about how big of a joke the Leafs are right now. But yeah, the East sucks and coming in last is a serious accomplishment of elite suckery.

  15. The Cheechoo comment is almost Adamsian, if I can either coin or steal the term...

    Careful though; people like him die at 49 of a heart attack, whereas Kenny G will undoubtedly break the longevity record.

  16. Awww...look, Sens fans are trying to defend themselves and their team? Isn't that precious?

    Pave the parking lot of Scotiabank Place, asses, then we'll talk.

  17. I really enjoy Sens fans going around talking to Leafs fans like their team has accomplished something. OK - Cup final... sure fine. What's next? Anything?

  18. I still think the problem is that last I checked they were paying approximately 4,304 coaches that got canned over the last couple of years.

  19. 2010 Second Overall PickMay 20, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    I dont know Phil?

    Whats next for tml? Competing in a league with more than 6 teams?

  20. Sure, the comments by Sens fans on this article are both lame and poorly written. But give them credit: It's amazing that they can even type with their eyes full of so many hot, bitter tears.

  21. Don't let this guy get you down, Senators fans! We'll win the Cup next year... I guarantee it!

  22. This thread is almost as funny as the post. I'm no fan of the Leafs in general, but I'd take their history over Ottawa's any day of the week and twice Sunday.

    I mean, the Senators franchise counts the Cups the team won back in the 20's! That's not the fans - the FRANCHISE. Pathetic. Sorry guys but having the same name doesn't mean that you're the same organization. After 58 years, you kind of have to be your own franchise and start from scratch. Hell, they used to play with a rover back then. Stand on your own skates, kids.

  23. Hey nightfly - we'll check back with you in 40 or so years... my money is the Leafs still haven't made the playoffs and the Sens will have a few cups to their name...

  24. Why do people get so offended every time DGB picks on a team? Every comeback made in the comments has probably at one time been used by him to make fun of his own team.

  25. LOL DGB... this is too sad.

    The Lynx left because of bad ownership, the Riders left because of bad ownership AFTER A 120 YEAR TENURE IN OTTAWA, the Wheels and Rebel were in leagues that were completely obsolete outside of the United States, and the Renegades are still technically a CFL team, as their operations are only suspended.

    So yeah, do your research next time, or you may get owned again by us smart people of Ottawa.