-Sens training camp is underway and there are no real surprises in the roster other than the appearance of Scott Greenham (who played with Bakersfield in the ECHL last season along with a cup of coffee in Binghamton; he also attended the Sens rookie camp awhile back).
-Nichols peaks behind ESPN’s paywall to take a look at Corey Pronman’s top-100 prospects. The following Sens made his list: Cody Ceci (#65), Robin Lehner (#92), and Mark Stone (#99). Nichols tries to provide explanations for the rankings, which suggests Pronman does not. I have mixed feelings about Pronman’s analysis, but it’s good enough to be considered if nothing else.
-Jeff Ulmer tries to look ahead at the Binghamton Senators, but he seems a bit behind on Bingo news; he thinks Andre Petersson might not report (Petersson made an impassioned plea to stay), he missed Marc Cheverie signing with the Colorado Eagles (ECHL), speculates that Daniel New will be with the team (we know he’s signed to an AHL-deal), doesn’t know Danny Hobbs is signed, and he thinks Jack Downing will be there (he is attending Boston‘s training camp). Regardless, it’s a good effort from Jeff and hopefully he’ll continue to provide Binghamton news (I posted my early look at Binghamton over a month ago and nothing has changed enough for an update to it yet).
-It’s clear Eugene Melnyk can’t keep his mouth shut, however much that would help his cause. He hit the radio to rant about his casino dreams and Nichols provides us all with the transcription (without commentary, which I believe is a first from him). Here’s a great sense of Melnyk’s inability to put his thoughts together:
Well, the Canadian Tire Centre is the arena – which it was renamed. It used to be called Scotiabank and we renamed it the Canadian Tire Centre. A sign just went up. It looks gorgeous and we’ve got about 80 acres of land there. There was supposed to be… So for seven years, going back to the (Dalton) McGuinty days, I came in and said, ‘You know, if there’s going to a chance, I’d love to build a casino out there (near Scotiabank Place),’ because if you go across the (Ottawa) River from downtown Ottawa maybe fifteen minutes and you’re at Lac Leamy – which is a nice casino. And (McGuinty) said himself, he said, ’90-percent of the (license) plates are (from) Ontario and all the problems come back to our province and (Quebec) gets all of the cash, so we’re very open to this.’ So we started working on a plan and then all a sudden the OLG gets involved and everybody else gets involved and says, ‘This is going to be a big, master plan.’ So, you know, we’re ready. I’ve got casino operators. I’m really a land operator; I’ve got about 80 acres of land around Kanata and the City is growing that way. It’s growing west, west, west. And it’s like Mississauga was 30 years ago. Then, all of a sudden, these guys come out and it was hilarious. People submitted… The OLG, and this is where there is a lot of bull going around… The OLG went to everybody and said, ‘Okay guys, tell us where you don’t want a casino because we’ve got all these submissions and we don’t want to spend hundreds of hours on looking at submissions when you guys aren’t going to approve a casino in this area – like next to a national monument or something.’ So Kingston comes in and they’ve got this little, tiny square in the middle of the town and said, ‘Look, that is the only place that we don’t really want.’ Then you go to Ottawa and (the City) has blacked out the whole city other than (Rideau Carleton Raceway). And I said, ‘You can’t do that – that’s called sole-sourcing.’ It’s illegal, for one. You can’t do it and they go ahead and they try to do it.
Incoherent doesn’t come close to describing this rambling. The above can be summed up in one sentence: “I planned on having a casino and thought I would get it–that didn’t happen and I’m pissed.” Regardless, there’s plenty more from the Eug, who complains that there was no bidding process and rants about the mayor not allowing him to compete for it.
No, not me; they owe everybody. Like I said, I don’t care if I win, lose or draw, just do it right. Do a competition
Irrespective of the casino process itself, anyone who thinks Melnyk doesn’t care if he wins needs their head examined. Here’s a better reflection of what he really thinks:
Bring CFL football back to Ottawa (for) a third time and they gave a $400 million gift of land to a group of insiders there
The Eug would very much like that kind of deal. As I said awhile ago if Melnyk was still in great financial shape he could have applied real pressure to the political process to help strong-arm himself either the casino or his MLS franchise, but without the money to grease the political process he’s left to whine and complain. Varada does a great job at taking a serious look at what having a casino means to the city as well as Eugene’s other statements (I highly recommend reading it, not just for the article itself, but for comments from Travis Yost and Michael Slavitch on the minutia of procurement works in government).
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)