Melnyk says little
By TERRY KOSHAN, TORONTO SUN
Eugene Melnyk happily donated $1.8 million to St. Michael's College School for a new sports field but won't have to fork over any money in fines to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Melnyk, the owner of the Ottawa Senators, kept it on the straight and narrow yesterday at St. Mike's after the official opening of the Eugene Melnyk Sports Field.
"We want one unified message," Melnyk said of the owners' communication with the public regarding the NHL's negotiations with the league'splayers' association.
"It's simply a commitment from all of us to have one person who speaks for all of us and Mr. (Gary) Bettman (NHL commissioner) is our spokesperson. We are all supportive of what he has been saying to the media and the fans."
On Wednesday, Los Angeles Kings president Tim Leiweke was fined what he called "a significant amount" by Bettman for taking verbal shots at NHLPA chief executive Bob Goodenow. Melnyk had a few opinions on the proceedings, or lack thereof, as a whole.
"I know that from Ottawa's perspective there is no way under the current system that things can continue the way they are," said Melnyk, who also owns the OHL's St. Michael's Majors. "I just think the owners are committed to doing whatever it takes to get this accomplished. Under the current system there is no question we would be losing a significant amount of money."
Melnyk was asked if a salary cap was needed in Ottawa.
"I don't know whether I would call it a salary cap but it just would have to be a system that Mr. Bettman has proposed," Melnyk said.
Which would be a salary cap, whether it's called cost certainty or something else.
Melnyk addressed the media while standing on the beautiful new football field adjacent to the hockey arena on campus. Thanks to Melnyk, who graduated from St. Mike's in 1977, there's a gleaming synthetic athletic turf, an electronic scoreboard and stadium lighting among other improvements to the sports field.