How To Repair The Ottawa Senators

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HOCKEY GM ADVICE

Over the past few years this team has been going down hill fast. From #Melnykout, to threatening wives, to bad trades, to Uber talks this list can go on and on. This team is also failing to sell out their arena, even when they were in the Eastern Conference Finals! Now, thats just not right, when teams can sell their cheapest ticket for $1000 in the playoffs and still manage to sell out, while Ottawa’s prices are no where near that amount. But it begs the question, what will make fans show up to see and support the Senators? Well, that my fellow readers, is what we are here to determine!

Let’s start with the minor details before getting into the major ones.

First off, the arena. I don’t know if any of you have ever attended an Ottawa Senators game, but the arena is 30 minutes outside the city, in no traffic, about an hour in traffic. Not easy to make in time for a 7:30pm game if you work until 5. And getting out of the parking lot at the arena after the game is a NIGHTMARE! Be prepared to be waiting in a line of cars for over an hour. But with plans in place to build an arena in LeBreton Flats in Ottawa will solve this issue.

Next off the food/beer prices. While prices may be cheaper in this arena than most, if you want people to be buying, maybe lower your prices! If im paying $30 for a poutine and a drink, that is far more than i want to be spending after spending $100 on a ticket. One thing that is very popular they do is, on Thursdays, they offer $1 hot dogs and small drinks before 7pm and I dont know about you but I made sure to be there in time for that and stuff as many into me as I could! And if you think they are losing money on this promotion, think again. They are most likely purchasing in mass bulk where it costs at most 10 cents per hot dog and 2 cents per drink, so even at this price they have massive margins. So perhaps doing a discounted pizza night or poutine night will drive in more fans as well.

But onto the major issues, first off, one of my favourite quotes from Melnyk is “If we are competitive we will spend to the cap, but if we aren’t, we wont spend the money”. Well, Melnyk, If you aren’t spending to the cap in this era, you aren’t competitive. Their 9 million in cap space most years is almost enough to bring in a player like Ovechkin. Spending that money is the opportunity to bring in an elite free agent who is a difference maker.

Next, the coaching. While Boucher’s coaching style has been proven to win games, its just not exciting to watch. It’s boring, play conservative, defence hockey. Not fun at all to watch. For this team to get exciting they need a coach who for the time being, will play some run and gun, rack up the scoreboard. I dont know about you, but personally i would rather see a 7-6 LOSS than a 1-0 WIN. Much more exciting to watch!

Lastly, the superstar effect. Attending these games, you will see that sadly, the majority of the people there, are most likely cheering for the other teams. And even if are not, they are there to see the superstars on the other teams! People show up to see McDavid, Matthews, Crosby, Ovechkin, these names just sell seats because these players are flashy and exciting to watch! And while the Senators had arguably the leagues best defenceman in Erik Karlsson in the past, and currently have one of the leagues best power forwards in Bobby Ryan, I mean Mark Stone, these guys just arent “flashy”. Heading into a rebuild after all the fans chose to stop showing up doesnt help much either. So the organization needs to do something to get these fans excited! And what makes matters worse is they gave away their opportunity to get possibly another franchise player in Jack Hughes by giving away their first round pick in this years draft for Matt Duchene, who, in all likelihood is gone next season. This team needs to get a player in the organization that is new, exciting, and skilled! They drafted Brady Tkachuk who was very good this season before injury which will help for sure, but what they need to do trade Stone & Duchene for some high end prospects they will excite fans, and go ALL IN on free agents Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky and of course, former captain, ERIK KARLSSON. Get a player who is going to make you jumped up out of your seats and say WOW! Remember the Hamburgler? He sold out that arena every night during his run! We need that excitement again!

While Panarin has expressed he would like to go to a large market team, all Canada markets are large, they just need to entice the fans to come and if Melnyk dug into those pockets im sure they could offer Panarin a pretty penny! Bobrovsky would most likely not want to join a rebuilding team right now, but if fellow countryman Panarin went there it would certainly help. Also of course, if Karlsson resigns, his name alone brings excitement to other players to come as well.

What does everyone think?