Senators Set to Lose Staff to Buffalo?

Rumours have been making the rounds on the interwebs and SensChirp hinted at some of it in a post on his blog:

“Something to keep an eye on this summer- there seems to be a bit of a rivalry building between the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres and it has nothing to do with the on-ice competition. When Tim Murray left for Buffalo a couple months back, he did so with the blessing of the Senators organization but since then, there have been rumours that two organizations aren’t exactly seeing eye to eye. I tweeted about this back in January but it sounds like Tim Murray is hoping to bring some Ottawa staff along with him. I suspect we’ll hear more about this in the next couple months.”

This afternoon I followed up on Twitter with @SensChirp and it led to these responses from @DefenseMinister:

If you want to add some fuel to the fire, the pro scout and inaugural Ottawa Senator in question, Rob Murphy (@stittsguy) recently started following Eric Weissman (@Eric_Weissman) – the scouting coordinator for the Buffalo Sabres.

Duh. Duh. Duh.

This is all speculation and rumour, but it’s the time of year when these kinds of things run rampant.

While doing some digging for a eulogy piece on the Senators’ 2013-14 season, I came across some comments by Eugene Melnyk that seem appropriately fitting now.

When discussing the impact of the Bell Media deal, one of the first things that Melnyk emphasized were areas where he could immediately inject that additional revenue into.

“Well, it helps substantially. What it does is assure us of a revenue stream and it assures us of a lot of stability within the organization and from a financial perspective. And it allows us really, to play outside of where we have and that is focusing our attention strictly on development and actually, scouting and development.” ~ Eugene Melnyk, January 30, 2014

In the aftermath of the deal, there was this knee-jerk demand to see this extra bit of money go immediately into this team’s payroll, but that’s easier said than done. (And really, no one should want to see the Senators spend for the sake of just spending.)

Fans want to see ownership spend on players for two reasons: 1) there’s an inherent connection between spending and winning; and 2) it’s transparent. If the Senators have an influx of cash, fans can see that reflected by the organization going out and making a free agent signing or adding salary via trade.

Conversely, fans will never see how much the organization spends on its player development and scouting, but that should not diminish their importance.

Given the manner in which Tim Murray left the Senators, it was expected that he would try and poach some scouting talent. Fortunately, if these rumours are indeed true, it’s just a pro scout and not someone on the amateur side of things. Nevertheless, if this new television revenue benefits the organization and affords it an easier time of keeping its staff together, all the better.

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