Ottawa Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk Passes Away at the age of 62

OTTAWA, ONT - JULY 30: VP and General Manager for Rogers TV Ottawa Eugene Melnik speaks during the 2005 National Hockey League Draft on July 30, 2005 at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo By Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ONT - JULY 30: VP and General Manager for Rogers TV Ottawa Eugene Melnik speaks during the 2005 National Hockey League Draft on July 30, 2005 at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo By Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
VP and General Manager for Rogers TV Ottawa Eugene Melnyk (Photo By Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
VP and General Manager for Rogers TV Ottawa Eugene Melnyk (Photo By Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Senators‘ polarizing, long-time owner passes after a lengthy battle with illness

Eugene Melnyk’s time owning the Ottawa Senators was nothing short of eventful, right from the time he purchased the team on the verge of leaving the city on August 26th, 2003, to his consistent run-ins with Senators fans, both good and bad during his last decade of ownership, Melnyk wasn’t averse to controversy. However, this is the man who stepped in and saved the Senators franchise in Ottawa, the team was bankrupt and was seemingly out of options until Melnyk swooped in and quite literally saved the franchise.

The reports of Melnyk’s death at the age of 62 shocked everyone within the hockey world, while people had an inkling he’d been sick over the last while, nobody seemed to know as to what extent. Messages poured in from all over social media and throughout NHL press conferences, capped off by a clearly emotional Pierre Dorion detailing the profound impact he had on himself and the entire city of Ottawa.

Senators head coach D.J. Smith was also very appreciative of Melnyk, especially giving him the opportunity to coach at the NHL level.

Melnyk left behind his two daughters who meant everything to him, and are likely to inherit the franchise once everything is cleared up.
One of the more heartwarming moments between the Senators fanbase and Melnyk would be the life-saving liver transplant that he received from an anonymous Senators fan, a tremendous story that would captivate the sports world. Melnyk was battling end-stage liver failure and was in desperate need of a live liver donor, or else there wasn’t much that could be done, but on that fateful day in May of 2015, a donor would save his life. But then in the following years, a fractured relationship with the city would start to get worse.

As human beings we know that nobody is perfect and that people have their downfalls and shortcomings, Melnyk wasn’t absolved from these aspects of human nature, his relationship with the media and fans in Ottawa diminished to the point of no return for a large number of people. Many well-respected media were ousted by the Senators’ organization over the last several years, these include Ian Mendes and Brent Wallace, both stand in high regard in Ottawa, another reason for the city’s loss of faith in ownership.

SenShot
SenShot /

Want your voice heard? Join the SenShot team!

Write for us!

While there were some butting of heads between Melnyk and the citizens of Ottawa, the impact that he left on everyone who was close to him is obvious, he will forever mean a lot to the city of Ottawa, and for that, we should be forever grateful.

Rest in Peace Mr. Melnyk