There is no “For Sale” sign hanging outside the Canadian Tire Centre.
Speaking to reporters in Tampa, Florida, during the first break for Game 2 of the playoff series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Pittman said the Ottawa senators were not sold and, as Postmedia reported, it’s business as usual. .
He called off any potential talk of a sale of senators anytime in the near future.
“The club is not in the market, there is no urgency, the club is not precarious. There are no problems,” Bateman said.
Before his death in late March after a long illness, Senate owner Eugene Melnick, 62, established the franchise so it would be in his family for “generations.” It will be up to his two daughters, Anna and Olivia, to decide the next step for the franchise, but for now the business continues as before.
In fact, Pittman said, there is no sense of urgency for Anna and Olivia Melnick to decide on their next step.
Nothing (happens), Bateman said. “We have acknowledged Eugene Melnik’s death and sadly sent our condolences to his family. Basically, his family is his two daughters. The franchise is professionally run.
“Ultimately,” Bateman added, the Melnick girls “have to decide what they want to do.”
There was absolutely no indication that Anna and Olivia Melnick were planning to sell the franchise. They were on hand for a team photo shoot last month, seated alongside Captain Brady Tkachuk, and brought down their puck in a celebratory showdown at Fan Appreciation Night to thank the people for their support.
Speaking of the possibility of a downtown plaza, Bettman left open the possibility of a facility on LeBreton Flats. Senators are believed to be among the groups that submitted bids to the National Capital Commission by the February 28 deadline.
But, Bettman noted, that’s the least of the NHL’s concerns right now.
“That door opens and closes and opens and closes,” Bateman said of a downtown skating rink. “I hope at some point that will happen. For now, we are just focusing on the family’s wishes and supporting the family through difficult times.
“I was at Guy LaFleur’s state funeral (in Montreal on Tuesday). There was his death, the death of Mike Boss, there’s some sadness floating around here. We miss the great people who were so important to this game.”
While all senators have been reporting to Melnyk, he set up a board of directors several years ago to help with checks and balances when it comes to making franchise decisions.
Sheldon Pliner, partner in the Cassells Business Law Group, and long-time business associate of Lawrence Ziffman and John Miszuk, the Senate’s chief administrative officer, will help guide the franchise in the coming months.
Blair and Zivman were with Melnick for several years.
Plener has a solid knowledge of the organization’s inner workings because he has attended NHL Board of Governors meetings on behalf of senators multiple times.
Miszuk, who was a longtime advisor to Melnik, added to his days with Biovail Corp. to the Board of Directors in December 2020.
One of these three will be able to represent senators at meetings of the Board of Governors. General Manager Pierre Dorion communicates and speaks with members of the Board of Directors regularly, and this will not change.
Bateman said he was in regular contact with Bliner because he was the ruler and executor of your monarchy.
“I’ve known Sheldon for years, and we’ve been in regular contact,” Bateman said. “Nothing urgently. I was getting regular updates on (health) Eugene. Eugene has been ill for several years. He had a liver transplant seven years ago.
“I knew what was going to happen. It was just a matter of time.”