Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk Dies from Illness at Age 62 | Bleacher Report

Photo Minas Panagiotakis/NHLI via Getty Images

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk died Monday from an unspecified illness, the franchise announced. He was 62.

“It is with great sadness that the family of Eugene Melnyk and the Ottawa Senators hockey organization announce his passing on March 28, 2022, after an illness he faced with determination and courage,” the team said in a statement.

Melnyk purchased the Senators in August 2003, and the team achieved some success under his ownership, including an appearance in the 2007 Stanley Cup Final. He also served as the governor and chairman of the Senators and was the owner of the team’s AHL affiliate, the Belleville Senators.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released the following statement on Monday:

“The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. The words ‘passion’ and ‘commitment’ define the man who has owned the Ottawa Senators since 2003. Whether he was in the boardroom with his fellow governors, at the rink with his beloved Senators or in the community with his philanthropy, he cared deeply about the game, about his team and about bettering the lives of those in need, particularly underserved children, organ donation and, most recently, with his commitment to his parents’ home country of Ukraine.

“While successful in business, it was our game and his Senators that he was most passionate about. Eugene was often outspoken but he maintained an unwavering commitment to the game and his roots and he loved nothing more than giving a Senators sweater and cheering on his beloved team.

“On behalf of the entire National Hockey League, I extend my deepest sympathies to Eugene’s daughters, Anna and Olivia, his extended family, and all those who benefited from his generosity.”

In addition, one of Ottawa’s best players, Brady Tkachuk, mourned the death of Melnyk in a tweet on Monday.

brady tkachuk @BradyTkachuk71

Mr. Melnyk provided me, my teammates, and many Sens players who came before us with an opportunity to live out our dream. The Ottawa community will miss you greatly. Condolences to your family. https://t.co/lNeXwUDurF

The Senators have not found much success over the last several years, last making the playoffs during the 2016-17 campaign. Despite a lack of success on the ice and financially, Melnyk was unwilling to sell the franchise and said in 2017 that he was open to relocation if the team’s situation worsened.

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