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Eugene Melnyk Talks Sweden, Crosby, Methot

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Senators owner Eugene Melnyk joined TSN 1200 this morning to talk an array of interesting topics.

Minnesota Wild v Ottawa Senators Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk joined Steve Lloyd and Todd White on TSN 1200’s In the Box. You can find the full audio here.

On going to Sweden to play two regular season games versus the Colorado Avalanche:

“We did this nine years ago, I think it was, and we went over there and I was part of that entourage. It was a great, great time and we’re trying to expand the outreach of hockey to all parts of the world and Scandinavia is, of course, a big hotbed for hockey and we are probably one of the best to represent hockey in Sweden with our superstars, our last two captains who are Swedish. We started talking about when we were going to do this next game. It’s been almost a decade and everybody jumped on this and we’re just pleased to be part of it.”

On having the games in Sweden in the regular season and not preseason:

“I think that hockey operations, Pierre (Dorion) especially and the coaches, including the players, just felt that going over there early in the season kind of... first of all they’re not fully ready yet. You’re burning them out before the first game of the season already with the overseas trip. So if we could do it at some point in October or November, it turned out to be November, it would be a lot better for us. We’re into the season, we take a little break, go overseas, we’d be gone for a week, and then come back. So it was just a question of seasoning, I think, and making sure that we have a good team, serious games, they’re a full two points each, up to three. Last time we were prepared, but it was tough on us, and we ended up getting three out of the four points.”

On this year’s schedule gaffs:

“Even this year we dropped the ball. It shouldn’t have happened. We had a fully loaded, I think we had, I actually counted today, I think we had 20 games in November and that’s just way too much on the players and way too much on the fans. There’s only so many games that you want to see. And it showed in the attendance. Now, we’re a little bit more spread out and we’re going on our playoff run, our attendance is up fantastic, it’s been sellout after sellout. The main thing is that players are getting some rest between games.”

On the NHL going to the Olympics:

“(The owners) had a vote which was very confidential and we didn’t even know the results, and was kind of just say say ‘hey, how does everyone feel?’ My sense is that I’m just echoing everything that everyone else is saying and that is it’s tough, tough, tough to take that kind of risk on sending over your franchise players. Some owners, God bless them, they haven’t been in my shoes, but I’ve been there, done that and it’s really not pretty when you find out that something happened overseas.”

On Sidney Crosby’s slash on Marc Methot last night:

“I’m sure this is being taken up with the league this morning. I asked for an update, I haven’t gotten it yet. You do anything that’s almost a certain injury and I think the only way to do it is to wipe the guy off the map for not one or two games; ten. How about the season for a few of these guys? No really, he takes my guy, I take your guy. And that’s my attitude. The guy that creates the injury should be sitting out... they should watch the games together for the rest of the season. That’s the kind of attitude I have. There’s no room for that. And you’ve got to think of it: Marc Methot, the guy, that’s who you saw. I see the things behind the scenes of what happens from slashes and they’re ugly. They’re just as ugly as Marc’s. But Marc’s was so visible. It was a terrifying thing to look at those pictures and I don’t even want to think about it. It’s that disgusting. So that’s the only way to do it. You hammer these guys, you take away their money, because they all understand money and you simply say ‘you’re done for ten games and guess what? You guys are not get even close to a Stanley Cup.’ If it’s an elite player on the other side. There’s no room for it in the NHL.”

On possible punishment for Crosby:

“Sometimes you miss these things. I hope this guy, and we all know who he is, the guy’s just a whiner beyond belief and you do this kind of stuff, I don’t care who you are in the league, I don’t care if you’re the No. 1 player in the league, you should sit out a long time for this kind of crap.”

On Methot’s gruesome injury:

“The guy lost the top of his finger! Did you see it? I mean, it’s ugly. It’s the most... I wouldn’t want to show that to anybody under the age of 25.”