Mlakar: 'No room' under cap for Sens

MICHAEL HAMMOND -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

Before the puck is even dropped this season, the Senators will be $10 million short.

Team president and CEO Roy Mlaker told a business gathering yesterday that the team will not collect $6 million in TV revenue or its share of the now-scrapped Canadian Assistance Program.

"That's 10 million (Senators owner) Mr. (Eugene) Melnyk will lose before we even drop the puck," Mlaker said. "The key is we have to find out how we can enhance revenues."

Mlaker said the league's new bargaining agreement won't change the team's spending habits. Unlike big-market teams that make more money from local TV deals and private box sales, the Sens will still need to find creative ways to compete, he said.

"People think we have lots of room under the (salary) cap," he said. "We have absolutely no room."

Even under the NHL's new fiscal regime, a number of teams will lose money if they don't keep their salaries under control. The majority of teams will need to spend between $30-$35 million if they hope to break even, he said.

Mlaker described the lockout as the "longest and most nauseating" year of his life. Still, he said the long wait for the new deal will be worth it if it makes all 30 teams competitive.

The Sens still have a lot of work to do to mend fences with hockey fans, but Mlaker said he's confident people will like the Sens new style of play and the league's rule changes -- like the shootout.


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