The Ottawa Senators are one of the NHL’s most exciting teams right now, and the addition of Matt Duchene only adds to it.
There’s just one problem, according to Don Cherry: “They’re not selling out.”
“If they don’t put an arena downtown they’re gone,” Cherry said during Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday. “I think they’re just hanging on here in Ottawa, not drawing out, with a great team like that.”
The Senators reduced the capacity of Canadian Tire Centre, which is located in the suburb of Kanata, by 1,500 seats to start the season after struggling to fill seats at times throughout 2016-17. The rink’s capacity is now about 17,000.
“If they’re not drawing out with that team… I say they’re gone, and I say they go to Quebec,” said Cherry.
“It’ll be perfect—you’ve got a French coach, you’ve got a French general manager, you’ve got a lot of French guys, they’d be perfect moved in there,” said Cherry, before turning his attention to the NHL commissioner. “Gary, that’s where they should go.”
The club’s president and CEO, Tom Anselmi, addressed ongoing arena and redevelopment talks at LeBreton Flats during an interview on Prime Time Sports back in September, saying it’s “still early in the process, but it’s a priority now and we’re getting after it.”
“I don’t want them to leave Ottawa,” said Cherry. “But if they’re not drawing, why the heck should they stay there?”