Skip to content

Senators owner willing to expand budget if deal makes sense

Andre Ringuette / National Hockey League / Getty

If the price is right.

That's the stance of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, who says he's willing to open his wallet if the right deal comes along.

"I would be fully supportive if (general manager) Pierre (Dorion) came to me and recommended that we add to our payroll by bringing in players from other teams at this point of the season - as long as its reasonable," Melnyk told Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Citizen.

Dorion is believed to be seeking extra offensive arsenal, as Ottawa sits 21st league-wide in goals for. In late January, the Senators added winger Tommy Wingels from the San Jose Sharks, but he's more of a depth skater, having scored just one point in eight games since his arrival.

As it stands, Ottawa sits second in the Atlantic, six points behind the Montreal Canadiens, but with four games in hand. The Senators last qualified for the postseason in 2015 but have won just one series since 2007.

Dorion has the green light to make a deal, as the Senators have about $5.5-million in projected salary cap space and now the support of team ownership, to a degree.

"If they want (Thomas) Chabot or (Colin) White, they can forget it," Melnyk added. "We're going to be smart about it."

Key pieces of the Senators' future, Chabot and White starred at the recent world juniors. Chabot, a native of Quebec, finished the tournament with 10 points and was the first defenseman to be named MVP. As for White, he was a key cog in Team USA capturing the gold medal, tallying seven goals in as many games. He's scored 26 points in 27 games this season with Boston College.

In the meantime, with the March 1 trade deadline less than two weeks out, Dorion's window to complete a deal is closing. But that constraint doesn't have Melnyk concerned.

"Maybe when you get really close and there’s still players available, people start doing some reasonable deals," he added.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox