NHL team Ottawa Senators up for grabs



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Ottawa Senators are looking for a buyer Image: NHL

The National Hockey League (NHL) team Ottawa Senators (Canada) is on the market.

‘AP News’ stated that the Board of Directors of Senators Sports & Entertainment (a Canadian private limited company that owns and operates the Ottawa Senators) said recently that a process has been initiated for the sale of the NHL club. The Board retained Galatioto Sports Partners, a firm specializing in the Sports Finance and Advisory Business, as its Financial Adviser.

The Ottawa Senators, officially the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club and colloquially known as the Sens, are a professional ice hockey team based in Ottawa, Canada. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference, and play their home games at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, which opened in 1996 as the Palladium.

The 18,652-capacity Canadian Tire Centre is a multipurpose indoor arena in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, located in the Western suburb of Stittsville. It opened in January 1996 as the Palladium and was also known as Corel Centre from 1996 to 2006 and as the Scotiabank Place from 2006 to 2013.

A statement sent out by the team read, “A condition of any sale will be that the team remains in Ottawa.”

Senators’ owner Eugene Melnyk died on March 28th this year at the age of 62 after battling an illness. He had previously said he planned to leave the team to his daughters – Anna and Olivia.

‘AP News’ further stated that Melnyk purchased the Senators in 2003 for $92 million at a time when the franchise faced bankruptcy and a tenuous future in Canada’s capital Ottawa.

A recent valuation listed the Senators at $655 million.

The team’s day-to-day operations have been handled by the Board of Directors since Melnyk’s death.

Under Melnyk, the Senators played in the Stanley Cup Final in 2007 when Ottawa lost in five games to the NHL team Anaheim Ducks of Anaheim, California (US). Ottawa nearly returned to the Cup final a decade later but lost the deciding game of the conference final in double overtime. Since that loss, the Senators have missed the playoffs in five straight seasons.

Melnyk’s relationship with the Senators’ fan base soured as the years went by.

The owner’s comments before a 2017 outdoor game in Ottawa, indicating he could move the team in the future if attendance didn’t increase, sparked a “#MelnykOut″ campaign on the City billboards and also on social media.

Ottawa is off to a 4-6-0 start this season despite a talented young core and series of significant offseason moves like acquiring forwards Claude Giroux (Canadian professional ice hockey forward for Ottawa Senators) and Alex DeBrincat (American professional ice hockey right winger for the Ottawa Senators).

The team has played at the Canadian Tire Centre in Canada since the arena opened in 1996. But the team has again expressed interest in building an arena at a site in Ottawa.

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