Eugene Melnyk pens letter to Senators fans
To our valued Senators supporters,
This has been a disappointing season for our team. Our place in the standings speaks for itself. Trust me, no one is more aware of this — and more frustrated by it — than I am.
But one challenging year does not define our team. And, if anything, the commitment to re-establish our great franchise and reclaim our place atop the NHL standings should unite all Senators fans, partners and season-seat members. Now is the time for us to focus on the future, rather than dwelling on a difficult season.
Remember, it was just a year ago we came within one goal of playing for the Stanley Cup. That grit and that fire are still part of the Senators’ DNA.
When I came on board, the Ottawa Senators were in deep financial trouble. Together, with your support, we brought this team back to life and we have had Canada’s most successful NHL on-ice performance over the past 15 years. Backed by Ottawa fans and the entire community, I have demonstrated my commitment to giving you the best possible team over and over again. Today, I am just as committed to the Ottawa Senators and to keeping them in the City of Ottawa, as I was in 2003.
Enduring a tough year has given us a chance for clear-eyed evaluation. This is an ongoing process, but I can tell you one thing: We are not looking to just tweak our lineup, nor mortgage our future for stop-gap solutions.
The kind of change required to reclaim our standing needs a change in approach, requires difficult decisions and commitment to a plan. As an organization, and community, it meant saying goodbye to some very good players this year — quality men who gave their all on the ice and in the community.
As a team, we need to get younger, faster and more skilled. We have already announced several key steps to making that happen. I remain committed to investing what is needed to identify, draft and develop the players that embody what it means to be an Ottawa Senator. We have a strong foundation of players on this team and in the pipeline ready to contribute.
The passion of our fans in the Ottawa community is unlike any other in the NHL. As an owner, that is the most important thing of all.
Over the coming months, you’ll learn more about our plans to improve the fan experience, to make our games more fun, accessible and affordable and to have an even greater presence in our community.
Every day we are mindful and proud to represent the passion, strength and integrity of the National Capital Region, both on and off the ice. Every member of the organization understands our responsibility to make a positive community impact.
We are dedicated to be an even larger part of Ottawa’s fabric, to ensure that, no matter the outcome on the ice on any given night, we’ll always, always be winning in the community.
On a personal level, let me repeat that I have every intention of rebuilding the Senators to become the finest team in the NHL and bringing a Stanley Cup to Ottawa.
I remain a diehard Sens fan. I know you are, too. We value your support and hope you can join in our excitement about the future for this team.