A slap shot away from the Eternal Flame on Parliament Hill, Eugene Melnyk wouldn’t promise he’d keep the Ottawa Senators in town forever. The Senators owner, speaking before the club’s Alumni Class on the Hill on Friday night, told reporters the franchise is doing “okay” financially and, while he’s not thinking about moving the team right now, he would if it became “a disaster.” While Melnyk, 58, who bought the Senators out of bankruptcy in 2003, said he’ll never sell the team, he’s not committed to keeping it here if the support continues to fall. “It just won’t happen,” Melnyk said when asked what it would take for him to sell the Senators. “It’s a franchise, so imagine if you own a McDonald’s franchise, you can move it. But it’s nuts, why would you sell it? It’s something that’s very difficult to buy. “We’re doing okay here. We’re not doing great, but we’re doing okay. I’m just too much of a fan. What else do you do? I’m a Canadian, I’m a hockey fan and, fanatically, a hockey fan. It’s something I really enjoy doing. I couldn’t think of anything better to do.” Melnyk said he’d consider moving the Senators if the picture got worse financially because his revenues are already among the lowest in the league and attendance has been an issue of late at the Canadian Tire Centre. “If it becomes a disaster? Yes. If you start not seeing crowds showing up, yes,” Melnyk said. “For now, we are on the cusp of doing okay.” The reason Melnyk won’t sell the franchise is the fact he wants to be an owner.
Melnyk says he won't sell Senators, 'but you can move' franchises
Ottawa Sun | Dec 16