Never one to pass up an opportunity to get his word in, Eugene Melnyk spoke to TSN today and blamed JP Barry for orchestrating Alfie's departure.
"For anyone to even suggest the remote possibility that Bryan Murray is not fully honest in his clear recollection of events should be ashamed of themselves. I point the finger squarely on JP Barry, the man who blessed us with the (Dany) Heatley mess."
Sweet ad hominem attack, Eugene. Way to put the past behind you and basically confirm that Elliotte Friedman speculation that the personal grudge leftover from the Heatley saga still exists.
Melnyk wasn't done however.
"If you want to play the blame game – that is where you should be looking. I have a lot of respect for Daniel. I simply think he was not told the whole story or worse, was lied to. I won't be commenting on this again. We are busy and have a Stanley Cup to win."
And if you don't believe that, you can strap a bomb to yourself and blow yourself up.
If people want something to blame, point to money and ego.
The problem was that Alfie believed he took a disount on the last year of his last contract and then decided to play at least one more year. Having offered Alfie $4.5M against the player's request for one-year, $7M or two-years and $12M, it was foolish to think Alfie and JP Barry would negotiate against themselves.
Alfie's market value was not the $7M he asked for, but by not following up with another offer, they essentially forced Alfie to go to the market because they assumed he would come back with whatever market value teams were offering at the time.
What the organization never anticipated was that a pissed off captain would never give them the right of last refusal. Instead, he took the market offer and never gave them a chance to match.
The parties should have sat down to figure out what it would take to come to a resolution but they didn't because the organization overplayed their hand.
Alfie resented their treatment and gave the organization the middle finger on the way out of town – with yesterday's implication that the organization purposefully circumvented the salary cap being his parting shot.
Yesterday and today's developments portray the simple truth about sports. As my uncle put it, "The modern post-union reality of professional sports is that despite what we think about our favorite athletes, owners, and franchises, everything comes down to money. They all look bad. They all disappoint. They all should have known better."