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Ottawa owner Melnyk: Senators 'already over budget'

The Ottawa Senators have a salary cap payroll of just under $57 million heading into the 2013-2014 season, which ranks 26th in the NHL, and gives them more than $8 million to spend. But the club is "already over budget" according to owner Eugene Melnyk, reports the Ottawa Citizen's Wayne Scanlan. 

Melnyk spoke about the club's financial issues Friday at the opening of downtown's "Sens Mile": 

"... the salary cap is going to increase. The revenues of the league are going very very well, right across the board, they've fixed all the problem franchises, and now people are spending to the cap. We spent to the cap two years in a row and didn't make the playoffs."

Don't worry, though, Senators fans, the club's not going anywhere:

"As far as the organization is concerned, again … the idea of moving the team is just not a reality. That’s not going to happen."

While Melnyk isn't a fan of rental players, he's open to adding players if the Senators are competitive. Scanlan writes:

"[Melnyk] said he is willing to spend more on player salaries, if general manager Bryan Murray came to him and said a certain player could make a difference at the trade deadline."

Melnyk ultimately believes that the Senators need to spend in order to contend, and that being the case, the Senators need to find a way to increase their revenues, because they're in a "price-sensitive market." And that's where the city of Ottawa comes in to play -- Melnyk and the Senators need its help.

"We’re now regrouping to see what we might be able to still do with the city’s co-operation. At this point, we’re hoping for the best … all our options are open right now.

"I’m not a big fan of just spending because you've got to spend. But we need co-operation and help, it’s as simple as that, because we’re getting outspent by everyone else and to be competitive you have to be at least in the top half of spenders."

Melynk dismissed the notion of an equity partner -- "Those people don't exist," he said. 

With the franchise in debt to the tune of $130 million, according to the Citizen, and Melnyk's personal finances in question, it's going to be a very interesting season in Ottawa, especially if the club's competitive in the Eastern Conference. 

"Let them do their stuff, let them show off. You can ask me [about finances] right after the Christmas break."

All salary information via

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