Yesterday, the Senators announced that they have traded defenceman Chris Wideman to the Edmonton Oilers.
While the deal hardly comes as a surprise, it’s a disappointing end to Wideman’s time in Ottawa.
He suffered what appeared to be a career-threatening injury last season and just hasn’t quite looked like himself this year.? His ice time has decreased steadily under Guy Boucher and young players, including Christian Jaros and Christian Wolanin, have sort of passed him on the depth chart.
And because Wideman was set to be a UFA at the end of the season, the clock was ticking on his time in Ottawa.
Dorion doesn’t get much in return here (a conditional 6th round pick in 2020) but the way his season was going, there was a very real chance of getting nothing for him a couple months from now.
Finally Chris Wideman will be able to show his offensive potential under *squints*…Ken Hitchcock. All the best in Edmonton, Chris!
In most cities, a real life trade would usually be the lead story.
But not in Ottawa. Not by a long-shot.
Yesterday, the National Capital Commission Board of Directors provided an update on the LeBreton Flats project yesterday and the news was less than positive. Disastrous even. According to the NCC, there are unresolved issues within the RendezVous LeBreton, specifically a dispute between John Ruddy and Eugene Melnyk, that are preventing the project from moving forward.
Surprising isn’t the right word to describe what’s happening. Inevitable, maybe? But still incredibly disappointing.
It has been more than two years since the NCC made the questionable decision to go with RendezVous LeBreton group and essentially zero progress has been made since then. In fact, if the group can’t get their act together by January, there is essentially negative progress.
Based on the reporting that has surfaced since, it certainly sounds like Eugene Melnyk is the biggest issue with the project right now. Shocking, I know. It’s gotten so bad that John Ruddy reached out directly to Gary Bettman to stress his concerns. Gary said to give him a call.
Here’s the thing…
When Erik Karlsson was traded away this summer, it was disappointing. But it was only tolerable because if you squinted really hard, you could see a potential hockey-related justification. Sure it all linked back to Melnyk but there was still the potential that a deal could benefit the on-ice product in the long run. A rebuild of sorts really could strengthen the foundation of the team in the long-term. And we’re seeing it already.
There is no positive outlook in botching a downtown arena. There are no good intentions. Eugene Melnyk is railroading the most important development in the history of the City and seriously threatening the future of the franchise. And that is fucked up.
But as it turns out, if you squint hard again, there is a positive in this latest Melnyk mess.
When I first tweeted about the tenuous state of Ownership a little less than a year ago, I wrongly assumed we were at the end of this nightmare. Little did I know, that was only the beginning of the end.
If Eugene Melnyk botches the downtown arena, intentionally, that HAS to be the end of the end. That has to be the point where the league , who has been vocal about the importance of a downtown arena, finally steps in. That has to be the point where common sense prevails.
Also, there’s a game today.
Line combinations will look something like this.
Puck drop at 8:00 PM. Game on TSN5, RDS and the friggin’ internet if you look hard enough.
Here’s your damn table.