Former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is the latest to express dissatisfaction against the team’s current owner Eugene Melnyk.
Alfredsson attended the mayor of Ottawa Jim Watson’s Sunday campaign, and the two reportedly desire a change in ownership, according blogger and former Post Media columnist Susan Sherring.
“We’ve talked a lot, we’ve talked about the future of the Senators and of its ownership and we agree,” said Alfredsson. “We hope to get a new owner.”
The Senators are coming off a disaster of a season finishing second last in the entire league one year removed from falling a single overtime goal short of making it to the Stanley Cup Final.
Ever since the franchise has been in a tailspin.
Calls for Melnyk’s head came after his comments during the NHL 100 Classic that was hosted by the Senators on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ont., back in December. In response to consistently low attendance rates at the Canadian Tire Centre (including not selling out the arena during their deep 2017 playoff run), Melnyk threatened to move the team if those numbers continue to be a problem.
“It just won’t happen. It’s a franchise,” Melynk said at the time in response to being asked if he would sell the team. “Imagine if you own a McDonald’s franchise, but you can move it.”
When a reporter doubled down and asked him if he would ever move the franchise Melnyk was very clear.
“If it becomes a disaster, yes. If you start not seeing crowds showing up, yes.”
Weeks later in January, the 59-year-old dialed his comments back a bit and ensured he had no intention of moving the team.
But the damage was already done.
The fan response was extremely anti-Melnyk and included a GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $10,000 in less than a month that helped finance four fan-funded ‘MelnykOut’ billboards around the city.