by Todd Anderson
Speaking to the media during a break from the annual Melnyk Family Skate for Kids, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk discussed the club's turnaround after a slow start this season.
"After a rough start you get a little bit of anxiety," Melnyk said. "It's really early into the season, is the way I look at it. The first 20 games you just have to relax. The team gels and forms. I think what we see now is what you're going to see, a talented team that is going to make it deep into the playoffs."
While Melnyk has full confidence in the current roster, he's willing to make adjustments down the road if it makes the club even better.
"If (Senators general manager) John Muckler came to me and said we could use some tweaking here, or we need to do this trade or acquire a player going into the playoffs, I've got to listen to the 40 or 50 years of experience that John has. I rarely question his recommendations. As far as I'm concerned, I'm here to help put a winning club together and I'm there for the team."
Melnyk is glad to have experienced individuals such as Muckler and head coach Bryan Murray in place. He feels knowledge and experience are key under the new salary cap system in the league.
"It's absolutely amazing what's between third and 13th (teams ranked in the NHL standings)," Melnyk said. "I think the last time I looked it was five points. What is going to happen over the next several years is smart management is going to make the difference. We have to adjust because our system is very different than everybody else's. We've always had our own natural cap. Now you can't buy your way into a Stanley Cup. You have to actually form and put together a great team. I think with John Muckler and his staff, and the coaching staff, we have what it takes to get where we want to be."