Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has died at the age of 62.
The Senators made the announcement Monday night. The cause of death was not immediately known.
“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. “Eugene never wavered in his desire and commitment to bring the Stanley Cup to the nation’s capital.
“Under his ownership, the Senators played in the 2007 Stanley Cup finals and the Conference Finals in 2017. Eugene was confident the current team of talented players and coaching staff that he and his organization built will challenge for and eventually deliver on that championship promise.”
Melnyk, a Toronto native, has owned the Senators since 2003. In 2007, Ottawa reached the Stanley Cup final before losing in five games to the Anaheim Ducks.
Melnyk purchased the Senators and Canadian Tire Centre for US$130 million after reaching a deal with creditors. He also was a former owner of the St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League.
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has died from an illness, the team said Monday night. He was 62.
The team announced Melnyk’s death with a statement from his family that mentioned “an illness he faced with determination and courage.” The statement did not explain what the illness was, and a team spokesman did not immediately respond to a message seeking additional details.
Melnyk had a liver transplant in 2015 after a public campaign for a donor. He had owned the Senators since 2003, when he bought the NHL club for $92 million. Ottawa reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2007, losing in five games to the Anaheim Ducks.
The Toronto native was involved in other businesses around Canada and in 2010 had an estimated net worth of $1.21 billion.
Melnyk bought the Senators after Rod Bryden’s deal to reacquire the franchise was unsuccessful.
“The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “The words ‘passion’ and ‘commitment’ define the man who has owned the Ottawa Senators since 2003.