Bettman says Senators aren’t for sale: ‘The club’s not unstable’

Posted: 07/05/2022 in NHL
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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the Ottawa Senators are not looking for a new ownership group in the wake of Eugene Melnyk’s death.

“The franchise is being professionally run,” Bettman said Friday night, according to the Canadian Press’ Joshua Clipperton. “The club’s not on the market. There’s no urgency. The club’s not unstable.

“There are no problems.”

Melnyk died March 28 at 62 years old after dealing with an undisclosed illness. He helped the Senators franchise escape bankruptcy when he bought it in 2003.

Bettman said that it’s up to Melnyk’s two daughters – aged 19 and 23 – to decide what to do with the team.

Melnyk was a polarizing figure during his time in ownership. One of the main issues he faced was the Senators’ arena situation: The club has played in suburban Kanata since 1996, but there has been immense pressure in recent years to build a new rink in downtown Ottawa.

Bettman added that a new arena isn’t off the table, but that it isn’t the main focus.

“That door opens, it closes, it opens and closes,” Bettman said. “I’m hopeful that maybe at some point it’ll happen.

“Right now we’re just focusing on the family’s wishes and being supportive of the family at a very difficult time.”

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