As miffed as Eugene Melnyk and the Ottawa Senators are about John Ruddy and the LeBreton Flats situation that led to Melnyk taking legal action against his old partner, the NHL is just as unhappy about it all as anyone else is.
As Elliotte Friedman reported during the Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada Saturday, the league itself also takes issue with the arena situation in Ottawa.
“The sense is the league is very unhappy that it got to this point,” Friedman said. “About a year ago, apparently, the league and the Senators first brought up concerns that their information was telling them that John Ruddy’s other project nearby was going to cause them a problem. They were going to take away from their sales and cause them difficulties with the finance and they wanted to see if something could get done.
“So they’re upset that it took this long to get to this point. They’re also upset about the fact that Ottawa’s gone through a lot this year, and this was another shot that they didn’t need — especially when they’re trying to rebuild with their young players and rebuild their business and try to give the fans a better experience.”
Despite the turmoil happening in the nation’s capital, however, Friedman doesn’t see this as a significant blow to the Senators’ future.
“People wonder, ‘Is this going to be the end of the team?’ Nobody’s talking about that,” he said. “They’re trying to find a way to make this work, but I just think the league and Senators are really unhappy because they felt they raised the issues a year ago.”