Thoughts on the Sens Town Hall


So many hilarious things came out of the town halls held by Eugene Melnyk and Pierre Dorion that I felt compelled to go through at least a some of them. Let’s preface this with a few reminders:
-Melnyk left his company Biovail in 2007 due to SEC legal action for fraud where “Biovail actively misled investors and analysts about the reasons for the company’s poor performance”
-then in 2011 he was banned for five years from senior roles at public companies in Canada by the OSC in relation to the same issues

This is not someone with shinning integrity and his unintentionally hilarious visits to Toronto radio just add to the perception of him being completely clueless.

Town Hall Highlights


As Beata Elliott points out (link above) it’s more than a little odd that the org attempted to limit coverage of their town hall when the goal was to communicate with the fans. However, the brain trust is very old fashioned and I think they have a hard time understanding how modern media works and, ergo, how easily recordings of the event would slip out


The comments about Erik Karlsson, however inconsistent, illustrate that it’s gotten through Melnyk’s head that trading him might be a financial debacle in terms of season tickets; I don’t mean that they won’t eventually trade EK, but it might be delayed until the trade deadline next season hoping fan outrage will have died down by then


Melnyk’s struggle to apologize for his own comments were fantastic–not that he struggled, but that the simple act of an apology was so difficult for him that he had to fabricate false reporting when his comments are readily available for anyone to check and see that he did say what was reported

fake news.jpg

It’s no surprise the org believes in “fake news” and think the media is attempting to distort things; Ottawa’s media is among the tamest imaginable (which is why I almost never cite it anymore)–the tactic of blaming the media is meant to deflect blame, which is a strong part of how both Melnyk and Dorion operate, but there’s also bitterness on Melnyk’s part for his various foibles being exposed (see below)


I think Melnyk’s comment about “bloggers” is, if not simply generic, aimed at Travis Yost from his days on Hockybuzz (in 2013 specifically)–not that others (like Nichols) haven’t written hard-hitting pieces on the team, but in terms of impact on the team I suspect his pieces from back in the day on Melnyk’s financial struggles did not sit with equanimity (I seriously doubt Melnyk/Dorion read blogs as a normal part of their routine)


I’ve rarely discussed the Lebreton Flats arena because I thought it unlikely to ever happen–no mayor wants to take a bath on a second arena and then have to deal with an empty one in Kanata. Back in 2014 I thought the team was simply looking to leverage further concessions at Scotia Bank Place, and when I realized the move was something desperately desired that the threat to leave was leverage for that purpose. His promise to keep the team in Ottawa is irrelevant since I think it’s the NHL that’s insisting the team stay


It’s funny how far he had to reach to find ancillary things to blame and the picked something that’s been within his power to change the entire time (parking)


The comments from Dorion were more disheartening (if not surprising), saying he feels a smaller hockey ops staff has a stronger say (which is simply ridiculous), and while “numbers doesn’t equal quality” is sometimes true the corollary of that isn’t ‘less is more’


In terms of the budget there was no suggestion they will spend more where they need it (scouting, pro and amateur, in particular), with comments only about how great pre-existing facilities are and Dorion spending money on players (I know we all feel better with Tom Pyatt and Alex Burrows on the roster).

Is any of this surprising? For the most part I think the answer is no, although I am surprised they are backtracking on moving Karlsson (at least with their rhetoric), which must indicate how much that’s impacting season ticket sales.

dumpster fire

I’ve had this bit of news floating around for quite awhile, but didn’t have any particular place to put it. The Sens talking about the media is the excuse I’m using. Back in late November Postmedia shut down a bunch of community newspapers after acquiring them from Torstar (21 of the 22)–the latter also shut down 11 papers it received in the deal. This story resonated with me because of the research I did about a year ago over newspaper circulation and ownership (at the time talking about how Postmedia’s Paul Godfrey injected his conservative opinions into the papers he ran and the potential impact that had on their sports coverage). While I think newspapers are like the dinosaurs waiting for their Chiczulub Crater it’s sad to see hard working journalists lose their jobs.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)



1 Comment

  1. […] light of the revelations about Postmedia I wanted to reference my article from 2018 in terms of Paul Godfrey’s political leanings and their inevitable […]

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