Ottawa mayor: City won't subsidize Senators' move to downtown arena
OTTAWA, ON - NOVEMBER 4: Ryan Dzingel #18 of the Ottawa Senators celebrates his third period goal against the Vegas Golden Knights with teammates Erik Karlsson #65 and Derick Brassard #19 at Canadian Tire Centre on November 4, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

If the Ottawa Senators want to move downtown, it will be up to the team to foot the bill.

That's the stance of Ottawa mayor Jim Watson, who on Thursday told Jon Willing of the Ottawa Citizen that the local government won't help subsidize a new facility for the Senators.

While Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has made no public comment about the city helping to fund a new arena, Watson appears to be getting ahead of the game.

Rival Canadian cities, like Edmonton, have helped bankroll new facilities in recent seasons, and until recent discussions hit a standstill, Calgary was also in talks with the Flames on arena project funding.

"We should not be using property tax dollars to subsidize an NHL team," Watson said. "That's not the role of a municipal government, in my opinion."

As it stands, Melnyk is in negotiations with the National Capital Commission to build a new arena in the downtown neighborhood of LeBreton Flats. The hope is that a move closer to the city core will reinvigorate the team's sagging attendance figures.

The Senators currently play out of suburban Kanata, a commute that has proven to be a challenge for fans in recent seasons, particularly during last year's playoff run.

In the meantime, Melnyk hasn't been shy in voicing his frustrations with the sluggish pace of negotiations with the National Capital Commission.

That was especially evident ahead of last month's Centennial Classic, when he floated the possibility the Senators could leave Ottawa if the team's financial position did not improve, something that could become reality if a new arena does not come to fruition.

Those comments didn't sit well with Watson.

"It was not helpful when Eugene blurted out that maybe (the Senators) don't have to move downtown because that's exactly at odds with what he and (NHL commissioner) Gary Bettman have been telling me going back four years, that the arena has to be in the downtown core," Watson added.

"I'm hoping he misspoke and is not casting doubt on all of the work we're putting in to getting the arena and the whole site revitalized in the downtown."

Ottawa mayor: City won't subsidize Senators' move to downtown arena
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Blues' Berglund squeaks OT winner past Berube
Back and forth the entire night, but the @StLouisBlues are skating away with the W in @EASPORTSNHL OT.
Close call ➡️ Lengthy review ➡️ No goal
Schwartz goal waved off after refs say it didn’t cross goal line
Laine snaps 2nd of the game to tie Ovechkin for league lead in goals
Keep your distance because @PatrikLaine29 is unbearably hot. 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Laine extends point streak to 15 games with buzzer beater
Laine doing what he does best... SCORE! 🚨: @PatrikLaine29 🍎: @BiggieFunke 🍏: Dustin Byfuglien #GoJetsGo #DALvsWPG #LaineLaser
Lightning bounce back from Saturday's loss to Bruins
Nikita Kucherov scored twice to boost his League-leading point total to 36-57—93 this season and help the @TBLightning improve to 10-2-1 in their last 13 games. #NHLStats #EDMvsTBL
Golden Knights' Karlsson completes natural hat trick with wicked wrister
One period. Three goals. Wild Bill is RED HOT. 🎩🎩🎩 🔥🔥🔥
Oilers strike 14 seconds in vs. Lightning
Last two #Oilers goals courtesy Ty Rattie! #LetsGoOilers
MacKinnon goes backhand shelf
Still trying to figure out if @Mackinnon9 can be stopped. 🤔
MacKinnon extends point streak to 12 games
Goal is going to @GabeLandeskog92, but @Mackinnon9 is going to extend his streak to 12 games. #DETvsCOL
Canucks fan sports hilarious "tank" hat
Via Redditor Vanderkill9, spotted at the Canucks game last night. Honestly, the team should be giving these out.