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Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk thinks that the Senators will return to the postseason this season, and have an even brighter future over the next three years.

"Everybody's on the same page to try to be competitive," he said during an appearance on The Bob McCown Podcast. "I think our fans would really, really enjoy to see us in the playoffs this year. And then once you get to the playoffs, we all say, you know, then anything can happen. "I think our big years are coming in the next three years."

The Sens went 25-34-12 last season which was good for 15th in the Eastern Conference, only finishing ahead of the Detroit Red Wings. They have not reached the playoffs since 2017 when they made it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. Since that playoff appearance, they are 82-124-29, which is second worst in the NHL over that span.

"I think this coming year, we will be competitive," he said. "We're still trying to grow. We've got a lot of young players, and there's no sense in rushing them. You can tell me examples of teams that have rushed players, and the next thing you know is they've never fully developed, right?

"What are you going to do? Are you going to take a guy, a kid, that's 20 years old, 21, he could be a star, are you going to put him up against Sidney Crosby? Really, is that what you want to do? That's how you're going to develop them? Or are you going to put them on the third line, playing eight minutes? What I'm saying is that we're in that mode of still developing. Yet the mandate is we want to be a competitive playoff team. And that's not easy to do."

Melnyk is excited to see what veterans Matt Murray, Evgenii Dadonov, and Alex Galchenyuk can do, as he believes they could push them over the edge.

"I think history will show that this was a plan that was put together that has never been done before. Nobody's ever trashed a team like we have. We cut our top six guys. Do that to any team and see what happens to them."

"We're building for something," he said. "We're focused on a plan that we'll win a Stanley Cup. That's the long game. And that's the long game I'm playing. I committed to playing that play three years ago."

Only time will tell if Melnyk's very confident statements will come true.

NOVEMBER 17, 2020  (18H26)