Melnyk Wants To Keep The Senators In The Ottawa Area

The Senators owners seems to now like the Ottawa marketplace.

It has been quite a while since the public has heard from the National Hockey League’s Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and his plans for the future of his business in the Canadian capital market. The LeBreton Flats area that Melnyk was eyeing for a downtown arena is no longer in the running for his business. But Melnyk does not seem to be in a hurry to leave suburban Kanata which is about 14 miles southwest of Ottawa and is open to putting up an arena near the present building on the 70 acres of property that he owns and then surround the new facility with a mixture of business and residential properties. If that fails, Melnyk might take his sticks and pucks and head to Quebec on a parcel of land just east of Ottawa in Gantineau which offers a view of the Canadian Parliament. Gantineau is closer to downtown Ottawa than Kanata.

In early 2018, Melnyk was going to partner with developer John Ruddy to develop the LeBreton Flats site which would have included an arena-village. By November, 2018 Melnyk was suing Ruddy for $700 million Canadian claiming that Ruddy had a conflict of interest because he was involved in another Ottawa development near the LeBreton Flats area. Ruddy decided to sue Melnyk for a billion dollars Canadian accusing Melnyk and the Senators business of skipping out on financial responsibilities and wanting not to pay rent in the planned building. In February 2019, the project was declared dead as mediation and constructing a deal between Melnyk and Ruddy failed. Melnyk said on the Bob McCown podcast that he is “75, 85 percent staying in Kanata” and is hoping that a light rail project that is being planned will extend to Kanata but he needs to keep his options open and that is where Gantineau comes in.

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Ottawa Senators right wing Marian Gaborik, of Slovakia, celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with defenseman Erik Karlsson, of Sweden, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)