Ottawa Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk passes away at the age of 62

Image Credit (USA Today Sports)

Eugene Melnyk the majority owner of the Ottawa Senators passed away on March 28th, 2022 at the age of 62.

Life is not guaranteed. Nothing in life is. It is something that we take for granted. We all expect to wake up the next day and keep going with our lives not appreciating life continuing the next day. I was stunned after hearing the news of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk suddenly passed away at the age of 62. I did not know that he was sick. Not many did as it was not public knowledge that he was dealing with a serious illness recently.

Now, Melnyk was dealing with severe health issues in 2015 and was desperately in need of a liver transplant. I remembered years ago how he was asking for anybody to get him a liver transplant because if he did not he would have died in 2015. Melnyk did get that liver transplant, but what many did not know was that the liver had to have 70% of it removed before the transplant happened. Which can be risky for any patient to get when getting a transplant of any organ. Luckily, the Liver can regenerate and Melnyk was okay and he returned to day to day operations of running the team in a few months.

If there is two words I hear a lot of people calling Melnyk is enthusiastic and prideful. He absolutely was that with the way he ran his sports businesses. Melnyk owned the OHL’s Mississauga IceDogs, AHL Belleville Senators, Multiple different horses including Speightstown, and many more. His most notable business was of course the NHL’s Ottawa Senators.

Many forget that in 2003 that the Ottawa Senators were almost a defunct team. The team was bankrupt as a result of the funding for The Palladium Project and former owner Rod Bryden was looking to sell the team to anyone. A majority of the buyers were interested in buying and relocating the team to different cities due to the financial difficulties. Who didn’t want to relocate the team? Eugene Melnyk. He successfully bought the team in 2003 for 92 million dollars and made it extremely successful getting out of the financial difficulties, resulting in the team now being valued at 525 million dollars. This man saved the Ottawa Senators and, if he did not buy this team the Ottawa Senators would not be a franchise today.

Now was Eugene Melnyk the most perfect owner, No. Especially with how he handled both Daniel Alfredsson, Kyle Turris, and Erik Karlsson as there exists from the team were very messy. He also has had a complicated relationship with the fanbase. Especially, when he made his comments on potentially moving the team to a different location in the middle of an outdoor game that millions of people are watching on television. It resulted in the trending #MelnykOut on Twitter. Something that has to be said, is nobody in this world is ever perfect. We all have made our mistakes in life and Melnyk has brought a lot good to the community especially with his many donations and kind actions.

Eugene Melnyk will be dearly missed by the many friends he made throughout his life and to those that looked up to him in the hockey world. My thoughts and prayers go out to Melnyk’s family and the Ottawa Senators organization.

Tributes from the Hockey World

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