Bryan Murray & The Ottawa Senators

27 Nov

Graeme at the 6th Sens wants Bryan and Tim Murray’s heads on a platter…

“Tough decisions have to be made and they’re ones that I no longer entrust to Bryan or Tim Murray (the likely incumbent GM once Bryan steps down). Given Bryan’s contract status, the bias that he developed for these players when he coached them and his perpetual ability to make reactive transactions, I no longer have the faith in the current brain trust to do the right thing. Even when this team is winning and things are going well, most fans that I know are guilty of waiting for the other shoe to drop. We’ve grown wary of these guys.

via If Bryan Murray Gets Turfed… | November.”

While I understand his point of view,  Graeme makes the mistake of  assuming the muddling tinkering with what you have position comes from General Manager Bryan Murray and not  from owner Eugene Melnyk himself. I’ve worked at the Tim Murray level in various companies,  and have been frustrated  by ownership from making real changes due to the need to deliver product with limited resources right here, right now.  There is nothing more dangerous than an owner who thinks he knows what he’s doing. and nothing kills the future more than the desire to deliver today.  Eugene Melnyk  strikes me as a very involved owner,  one who wants to put product on the ice and bums in the seats. A corporate guy doesn’t look three or four years down the road. Such folk look at the next couple of quarters and the current cash flow. It’s all about paying the bills.

The question really becomes: Can the Ottawa Senators survive as a business taking an LA Kings kind of approach?  Is Eugene Melnyk willing to take his lumps as the team rebuilds?  Are the fans willing to buy tickets and fill a stadium for a rebuilding team?

If it was a US city, I’d say ‘yes’, because hockey is viewed as entertainment there, not  as being cultural. Fans notice either deep runs or nothing. Ottawa has some of the Leafs/Habs disease, fans want a winner, and are less willing to make the drive to Kanata to see a team get shellacked for the years needed to rebuild.  Garrioch and Brennan stir up the fan base.  Leafs media sets the tone for behavior with the hockey equivalent of “next year in Jerusalem.”   It infects the media here as well.

The problem is deep and  endemic. Fans, media, team management and ownership have a role in the problem, and have a role in the solution. The lot has to do a lot of growing up,  the first group being the fans, who need to exhibit realistic expectations.

I suspect that it will be us bloggers who have to be grown up about it first.  You’re not going to get it from people who want to sell newspaper ad space.  It will be very hard to get it from team management selling product, until such time that the product they are selling is change.

Change of that magnitude can only come from ownership, and I’m not sure that ownership is ready. Until that happens you can have the secret  spawn of Steve Yzerman and  Scotty Bowman as GM with the result being a hill of beans.


2 responses to “Bryan Murray & The Ottawa Senators

  1. Nichols

    November 28, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    If this was last season Michael, I’d agree with your take on Melnyk. However, we don’t know how meddlesome he actually is.

    Listening to an interview of his on the Fan 590 earlier in the season, he didn’t seem to be oozing the machismo or false bravado that we’ve all grown accustomed to. When the topic of a rebuild was broached, he still said it was too early. Seems like a different Euge this year. (I transcribed the interview over at The 6th Sens. Take a look for it.)

    • slavitch

      November 28, 2010 at 7:01 PM

      Yes he is different, and Bryan Murray is likely what influenced that change. From what is happening in the draft it appears that The Bryan is attempting to build a deep pool of picks and prospects in the fashion of Detroit.


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