So, I think I wasn't alone in not being as fond of Stanley Cup of Chowder's entry on reasons to hate Ottawa. Surely there were some better reasons than they had, right?
I thought I'd take a shot at it myself to prove that it could be done a little better. This was originally a fanpost over there, but I thought you guys might get a kick out of it, so I'm posting it here, too. Here it is!
Hey there, Boston Fans!
Well, here it is. If you're going to have a series called "29 Teams We Hate" you know you're going to get a bunch of whiners coming to visit from the rest of the league. And here we are! For reals!
But seriously, though, I don't mind being hated on. I'm a Senators fan living in Toronto; I've got to have a "Come at me, bro!" mentality to the whole thing. What I do mind, though, is not hating the Senators well. There is an art to hating the Senators, and as some of my comrades pointed out on the article's comment section, your Sarah Connors doesn't seem to possess it. This is not a criticism! I understand that in the back of her mind, buried deep within, she is a closet Senators fan and is taking down Boston's fandom from the inside, right?
Seriously, though, I think the reason you really don't hate us is because you don't know us, so I'm going to help you out on that score!
So without further ado, I present...
FIFY - 29 Teams You Hate: Ottawa Senators
the written by a whiny Ottawa Senators fan edition
The Ottawa Senators and their fans think they can challenge Boston for the division lead this year.
That's cute. But can we get real here for a second? This is a team that was completely manhandled by the Pittsburgh Penguins this year. Their fans tried to shrug it off as being beaten by the Stanley Cup favourites. What ever happened to that Stanley Cup favourite last year, anyway? Asked partway through the series if they even had a shot against the Penguins, the so-called life blood of their team answered "Probably not." This was, at the time, career Ottawa Senator Daniel Alfredsson. The man who would know best what kind of team they had.
He walked away from them for a couple of reasons. One of those reasons? He didn't feel they were contenders. The man in a best position to know it didn't take this team seriously.
Let's look at the other reason he left: Money. Simply put: they don't have any. They tried to get away with lowballing their 14 year captain and fan favourite and heart & soul, simply because they didn't have any other options.
And why don't they have any money? It really doesn't make all that much sense. they are 6th in attendance in the league (In spite of having a town full of civic servants who sit on their hands at games and get irritated when other fans get too excited) and don't have much of a payroll to speak of. Capwise, they sit a healthy space above the floor with a cap hit just under 57 million. In actual dollars spent, though, they're looking at a payroll of barely over 52 million, making them one lowest payrolls in the league.
So why, with good attendance figures and such a low payroll, do the Senators not have the money to keep their captain? Because their owner, former Biovail owner and occasional CSI: Miami character Eugene Melnyk bought the team on a lot of short term debt. This wasn't supposed to be a problem, until his Biovail shares all crashed just before he cashed them in. Suddenly, he didn't have the resources to pay these debts back and has had to refinance this debt, leading to reported losses of 94 million dollars.
But who cares, right? So they're broke. Too bad for them, but why should that be a reason to hate the team? Maybe you should pity them?
The Ottawa Senators' stupid financial situation is one of the things ruining the NHL. A team 6th in attendance should not have lost 94 million dollars. It's idiot ownership like theirs that makes the owners cry poor and SHUT DOWN THE FUCKING NHL for half a season. We all lost hockey because this team can't keep their financial shit together.
But let's move off the boring money talk now.
As we mentioned before, Daniel Alfredsson has left the team this year. At least before you could claim they had an adult in the captain's chair. Replacing Alfie is a man who forever acts like a 15 year old who just heard the word "boobs." Their leadership doesn't get much better after that. The other major candidate for captaincy, Alternate Captain Chris Phillips, is an aging slow defenseman who already has his retirement job planned. Lacking any other players who remotely seemed like good candidates for an 'A,' Paul Maclean gave it to Chris Neil after Brian Murray politely requested it not be anyone with an "s" in their name that he couldn't pronounce.
Are there any redeeming qualities about this joke of a team?
Well, they have been willing to let the Bruins have some good players because of some vague belief that others are even better. For reasons unknown, they liked Redden, which led to Boston getting Chara. They liked Zack Smith which led to Boston getting Chris Kelly. Even their waived Kaspars Daugavins was better for Boston than Ottawa's un-waived Jim O'Brien.
On the whole, this is a franchise that isn't nearly as good as it thinks it is that is dragging the rest of the league down with its financial ineptitude and has no real leadership to speak of.
And that's good enough to hate.