Melnyk reluctant to 'blow up' Senators
Yes, the Ottawa Senators are struggling, but owner Eugene Melnyk maintains that he has no plans to make major changes.
The Senators sat in 13th place in the NHL's Eastern Conference ahead of Wednesday's slate of games, 13 points behind the Florida Panthers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
Melnyk said he isn't willing to write off his team just yet, though.
"Anybody that says we should blow up this organization should get their own bomb and go blow themselves up, OK?" Melnyk told reporters during the team's practice on Wednesday.
Melnyk also took the opportunity to downplay rumours that the team is looking to trade several players, and that the futures of coach Craig Hartsburg and general manager Bryan Murray are in jeopardy.
"This is not an organization that is completely crippled. It needs fine-tuning, it needs some tweaking, it needs a player here, a player there, a few good bounces and that's it," Melnyk said.
Still, Ottawa could miss the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 1996 if it doesn't break out of its losing slump.
"We know what we have to do. We've got to win 26 or 27 games with 37 games left," Melnyk said. "Can it be done? It can, absolutely. If we get on a roll, it can be done."
While denying that major changes in the front office are coming, Melnyk did admit that he feels his team is at a "crossroads."
"I leave the hockey operations to the hockey people. I've always done that, and we are going to continue doing whatever it takes to put a winning team on the ice, and as far as I'm concerned, right now, we're at a crossroads. This is it," he said.
"We have to win 26 to 27 games, and it's going to be done, and if it's not done, well, we'll have to deal with it."
With files from the Canadian Press