Melnyk won't tip hand on Renegades

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

Eugene Melnyk was tight-lipped about playing the role of saviour for the city of Ottawa ... again.

While the Senators owner has deep enough pockets to keep the Renegades alive, he wouldn't say if he's going to be part of trying to save Ottawa's CFL franchise, but he didn't deny it either, electing not to comment yesterday.

Melnyk, who asked Senators president Roy Mlakar to look at the 'Gades' books before the club was sold to Bernie Glieberman in 2004, wouldn't say anything regarding the matter, which means it may not have been ruled out.

Melnyk told the Sun after looking at the books during last year's NHL lockout that owning the 'Gades didn't make financial sense.

"I have never commented on other NHL teams, junior teams and I'm not going to comment on any CFL teams either," said Melnyk at Scotiabank Place.

'WOULD BE A SHAME'

"All I'm going to say is it would be a shame if Ottawa didn't have a CFL team. I have always loved football and I remember going to Argos games as a kid. Ottawa deserves to have a CFL team because it's great for the city, but I really can't comment at all."

Naturally, CFL commissioner Tom Wright would love to have Melnyk, who was in town to help kick off Ottawa's bid for the 2009 world junior championship, take over the team and it would be a great marketing tool if he was able to own both franchises

Glieberman was asked if he could "hypothetically" take over Frank Clair Stadium, get it upgraded and make the franchise into a winner; would it not be a great marketing tool for his Capital Sports and Entertainment company?

"Hypothetically, I'm not going to comment," said Melnyk.

DUMPING ON ALFIE: Penguins coach Michel Therrien fired shots in the direction of Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson for his comments earlier this month that suggested rookie C Sidney Crosby is a whiner. "There's no need for us to hear comments like that about Sidney Crosby," said Therrien. "The kid has just been terrific for the league. He's an 18-year-old kid and people love him. Everywhere he goes he has filled buildings and sold seats. It's really sad to hear comments like that. What happens on the ice should be between the players. He's been terrific for Pittsburgh." Crosby shrugged off talk he might use the comments as motivation vs. the Senators. "I don't think so. (Alfredsson) has made his opinion clear," said Crosby. "I don't have to think about that stuff." Alfredsson said he knew after making the comments he was going to hear about them. He maintained they were meant as a compliment to Washington's Alexander Ovechkin and not a slight at Crosby. "I guess you have to pay attention to what you say because you're going to be scrutinized for it," said Alfredsson. "I should have known better I guess."

NO SPEZZA: After playing with a hip flexor injury against the Devils, C Jason Spezza was a no-go vs. the Penguins. He hopes to return Friday against the Sabres in Buffalo, but admitted there's no sense playing if he's not capable of contributing. "If you can't do what you can usually do out there, then it's best to give it some rest and wait until I'm healthy again," said Spezza.


Videos

Photos