Sports

Michael Andlauer Reportedly Tours Ottawa, Meets Team Executives, Begins Mending Fences with Alfie

After winning the seven-month long bidding process to buy the Ottawa Senators, Michael Andlauer reportedly began kicking the tires on his new purchase today. While the deal won’t officially be completed until later in the summer, Postmedia reports that Andlauer was expected to be in Ottawa today to tour the city and meet with team executives.

 

Before Andlauer becomes Senators’ owner, he obviously has to sell off his shares in the Montreal Canadiens, a heated division rival. He also needs to finalize the agreement with his new partners in the team. And finally, the NHL needs to officially sign off on his purchase.

 

Oh, and let’s also not forget the writing of a sizable cheque, reportedly $950 million, payable to Anna and Olivia Melnyk, who will stay on with 10% ownership.

 

While Andlauer can’t do anything officially before the deal is finalized, he is in a unique position. Since he’ll soon be partners with the sellers, if there were something he really wanted done in the next few weeks, whether it’s a signing, hiring or firing, he could probably get it done with a simple phone call – all unofficially, of course.

 

For example, if current Senators ownership suddenly hired Steve Staios before the sale of the team was finalized, we’d all have a pretty good idea – unofficially – who really made that decision. Staios, of course, was Andlauer’s president and GM for years with the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.

 

For now, GM Pierre Dorion and his amateur scouting staff are operating business as usual, getting ready for the NHL Draft, which is only a week away. Then he and his pro scouting staff get to work on free agency July 1st.

 

Alex DeBrincat’s status affects both events. He’s about to become an RFA and if he doesn’t sign a long-term contract right now, it’s believed the Sens will try to trade him before the draft. They don’t need to, of course. DeBrincat is still under control for one more year and could be dealt at any point between now and next spring’s trade deadline.

 

If he signs long-term, which is looking more unlikely by the day, that certainly affects the Sens interest and ability in the free agent market. If he’s traded, the money saved might allow Dorion to shop. With Ottawa not having any picks in the first three rounds next week, it’s also a good bet Dorion will try and include a pick or two in any deal.

 

Postmedia reports that the Sens would like to get a first-round pick as part of any deal for DeBrincat. Last year around this time, the Sens gave up a first round pick and a second round pick to acquire the 25-year-old winger.

 

It’s hard to believe that Andlauer wouldn’t have a strong opinion on the DeBrincat situation, if not specific directions for the people who hope to be his future employees.

 

It’s also believed that Andlauer will soon meet with Hall of Famer Daniel Alfredsson, probably offering him a job in hockey operations.

 

After buying the Senators in 2003, Eugene Melnyk put on a free Eagles concert for fans. That was pretty good, but finally mending fences with Alfie would be even better.

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