Melnyk Unveils Bizarre Plan to Boost Attendance

by Rob Poirier (@RobFeature)

For the Ottawa Senators, the 2016-17 season is off to a pretty good start. The club holds a 10-5-1 record after sixteen games, and more importantly, seem to have finally solved their defensive woes. Case in point: in eight of their last nine games, the Sens have allowed just two goals or fewer. That's really good. What's not really good is that the Sens have scored just two goals or fewer in eleven of their last twelve games.

NOTE: This statistic does not acknowledge goals scored in the shootout, and neither should you.

The lack of production from the Senators' offence is concerning. But what is more concerning, is the Senators' off-ice woes...

After nine home games this season, the Ottawa Senators are on pace to record their lowest attendance figures in TWENTY YEARS. To put that into perspective, here's some cool facts about the 1995-96 Ottawa Senators:

       - they played a portion of their season at the Civic Centre
       - Randy Cunneyworth was their Captain
       - the Hartford Whalers were in their division
       - Chris Phillips hadn't even been born yet

So why are the numbers so low? Some speculate that fans are waiting for the Senators to move downtown (we're only about six years away). Others think that there are simply too many other good options for their entertainment dollar, like museums that feature old farm equipment. And yet, still more people seem to believe that Senators fans are just plain sick and tired of a team that never has any ambition beyond sneaking into the playoffs via a wild card spot. A team that routinely promises sweeping changes, but never, ever delivers. A team that offers no evidence at all of a vision for the future.

But, I mean, who knows? These scenarios are each equally plausible, right??

One thing is for sure: because they are a team that exists solely as a source of income for its owner budget team, the Ottawa Senators are going to have to do something about this, and fast. And they know it. On Tuesday, Sens owner Eugene Melnyk went on one of his trademark 'make everything worse' rants.

"Look," his letter began. "For the outdoor game, I proposed something highly illogical, logistically impossible, and borderline illegal. And they had the audacity to say no! To me! So what am I supposed to do? Give the long-suffering fans of this team an event like they've never seen before, but use someone else's facility to do it, meaning I don't get a full 100% of the profits?? NEVER IN YOUR DAMN LIFE!!"

He then went on to address the attendance concerns.

"I mean, yes, this team has been bad for the last ten years... BUT, they've also been good for the past ten days! And still nobody is coming?? Now, some say that they can't keep winning this way... that scoring just one or two goals and relying on world-class goaltending is not sustainable... well, to them I say: 'wouldja just shaddup and gimme your money already!?'"

In the midst of his complaining, Melnyk paused to assure folks that the attendance woes would not continue, because he himself had concocted a foolproof plan.

"There is one bright spot on the calendar. One game that the cheapskates in this awful town have actually bought tickets for. So, with that in mind, I am pleased to announce that, starting this Thursday night, and at every single home game for the rest of the year, we will be honoring Daniel Alfredsson by raising his number 11 to the rafters!"

"So if you want to be there for one of these historic, once-in-a-lifetime events, TOUGH" he wrote, "Because you'll have to commit to attending several. That's right! Tickets are only available as part of a multi-game package! But hey! If you show up to the games early enough, you'll get a chance to see some random kid who volunteered to sing the anthem for free, so there's always that!"

"That oughta do it," Melnyk's letter concludes. "Those ingrates always did like that greedy little-- hachi machi, I'm still writing!? What gives??"

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