Sens' Melnyk not a fan of potential all-Canadian division
While nothing is set in stone, it seems inevitable that the NHL will have an all-Canadian division to begin the upcoming season given the nation's current border restrictions. If that's the case, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk doesn't like his team's chances.
"No," Melnyk told The Bob McCown Podcast when asked if he liked the idea of an all-Canadian division. "I'll tell you why, it's a hockey reason. This is not our year. I think we'll be competitive, but this is the year the Canadian teams are all better. Every one of them, including mine. But I'm still at the beginning of my rise up. Everybody else was good and they're getting better."
The Senators finished with the second-worst record in the NHL a year ago. Meanwhile, the other six Canadian teams all qualified for the league's expanded postseason in August.
"From a hockey point of view, it's exciting," Melnyk continued. "We would be playing a lot of Montreal, Toronto, and Winnipeg. That's fine. We will play the other Canadian teams. That's fine. But from a pure hockey point of view it's a tough, tough, tough division. We don't get to play the weaker teams. They're all good."
In a normal regular season, the Sens would've been guaranteed four or five games against the Detroit Red Wings - the only team to finish below Ottawa in last year's standings. They also would've had four or five contests versus the Buffalo Sabres, who also failed to qualify for the expanded postseason.
The Senators added Evgeni Dadonov, Matt Murray, Austin Watson, Alex Galchenyuk, Erik Gudbranson, and Josh Brown this offseason, but the team is still in rebuilding mode and isn't projected to contend just yet.