In that letter, he basically staked his own reputation on this club improving and so far it’s not happening. Call me crazy but I have a feeling his patience might be wearing thin.
Keep in mind, this start comes on the heels of yet another playoff meltdown. The Sens wilted after the Game 1 collapse. Then their season ended a few days later with Daniel Alfredsson and Wade Redden being reduced to spectators by a third line penalty killer. Both players had a chance to stop Jason Pominville but they opted for the lollygag route. They gently poked at him like my grandma vainly fishing around for the last runaway fondue meatball.
In most companies, when you screw up like that in such a monumental moment, it’s unforgiveable. But Melnyk stayed patient and retained his hockey operations staff, which in turn forgave both players. In fact, Redden got a big raise, along with Jason Spezza. That meant they had to cut bait on Zdeno Chara and Martin Havlat. They spent big on Martin Gerber, who’s gone 2 and 6.
Melnyk trusted that these were all the right moves. And history may still show that they were the right moves. But, between the playoff demise in May and this year’s start, I’m sure Melnyk’s trust in his current staff has now been badly shaken. Perhaps I’ll get a read on his demeanour this week.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Here's a good post by Steve Warne of the Team 1200. He quotes parts of Melnyk's open letter to the fans last spring. Steve's off to Barbados today and expects to see the owner at the bar.