With anger and hatred being thwarted his way in lumps, Ottawa Senators Eugene Melnyk is promising things will get better.
The beleaguered owner penned an open letter admitting things have been disappointing.
Eugene Melnyk and the Senators just sent a letter out to season seat holders: pic.twitter.com/1Jglu0rMnP
— The 6th Sens (@6thSens) March 1, 2018
“This has been a disappointing season for our team. Our place in the standings speaks for itself. Trust me, no one is more aware of this — and more frustrated by it — than I am,” Melnyk wrote.
“But one challenging year does not define our team. And, if anything, the commitment to re-establish our great franchise and reclaim our place atop the NHL standings should unite all Senators fans, partners and season-seat members. Now is the time for us to focus on the future, rather than dwelling on a difficult season.”
Things in Canada’s capital have gone sour for the Senators: superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson appears to be destined to leave the club while fans aren’t showing up for games to protest Melnyk’s ownership. Sens’ fans created the hashtag #MelnykOut in protest of Melnyk’s increasingly bizarre comments about potentially moving the club from Ottawa. Fans have given more than $9,000 to a GoFundMe aiming to ouster the billionaire. Throw in a bad, aging roster and continual poor decisions such as trading an A-level prospect in Johnathan Dahlen for the now-waived Alex Burrows (and giving him an extension beforehand), it’s been a full-blown disaster.
Melnyk assured in the letter the club won’t be making the same mistakes they’ve made in the past.
“Enduring a tough year has given us a chance for clear-eyed evaluation. This is an ongoing process, but I can tell you one thing: We are not looking to just tweak our lineup, nor mortgage our future for stop-gap solutions,” Melnyk wrote.
It’s going to fascinating to see whether Melnyk can right the ship in Ottawa and regain the trust of fans. Right now, he’s batting .000. However, being more self-aware and taking a long-term approach to building success instead of mortgaging the future for the present might help him get back in the good books. If nothing else, it’s a positive step in the right direction.