The Ottawa Senators’ Lebreton Flats arena bid was dealt an expected death blow when owner Eugene Melnyk filed a $700MM lawsuit against his former partner John Ruddy, who was part of the group trying to acquire the development rights to the area. Now Ruddy has filed his own counterclaim, seeking more than $1 billion according to the Canadian Press. In the counterclaim Trinity Development, Ruddy’s company, alleges:
CSMI’s and Melnyk’s true aim is to have the City of Ottawa or Trinity fund and build the $500 million event centre for the Ottawa Senators hockey team, with the Senators getting 30 years’ free rent. CSMI also wants the valuable naming rights and an unreasonable degree of control over the Lebreton project.
Meanwhile, Melnyk’s group has issued a statement offering to amend the original plan and have Trinity fund the project but also take all of the expected profits. Though not technically dead, it does seem like a difficult path forward for the Senators to try and get a new arena near the downtown core. Lebreton was arguably their best chance for now, meaning they’ll be stuck dealing with the arena in Kanata going forward. That rink is far from the city center and difficult for many fans to get to, especially for weekday games.
- While Andre Burakovsky’s name has surfaced in trade rumors recently, Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post is quick to point out that the Washington Capitals are not necessarily shopping the young forward around at this time. Though they would certainly listen to offers, the hope is that Burakovsky can turn things around on his own and be the productive middle-six forward that they have hoped he would be for some time. The 23-year old has just eight points this season and has never fulfilled the promise he showed as a young forward in Sweden or the OHL. Burakovsky is also a restricted free agent at the end of the season with arbitration rights, which could certainly give any acquiring team pause given his salary is already at $3MM this year.
- The AHL announced multiple suspensions today, handing out a two-game ban to Matt Puempel and a three-game ban to Stephen Gionta. The two forwards, playing for the Grand Rapids Griffins and Bridgeport Sound Tigers respectively, will have to sit out a few contests over the holiday season following their supplementary discipline.