Melnyk signals Sens rebuild on eve of season
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk says he’s looking forward to a season that is “fresh and brand new”, as he signals the club is going to rebuild its roster..
The Senators released a nearly six minute video late Monday night featuring Melnyk chatting with Senators defenceman Mark Borowiecki.
The Ottawa Senators are proud to share the vision for the future of our team and this organization. We are about to launch an exciting plan to rebuild our team and we are inviting you to be a part of our rise to new heights. #OttawaRising pic.twitter.com/hok2jYCUVi— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) September 11, 2018
As the Senators prepare to report for training camp on Thursday, Melnyk addresses the 2017-18 season, his ownership and signals a rebuild of the roster this season and next.
In the first part of the video, Melnyk admits “right now, we’re kind of in the dumpster”, after the Senators finished 30th in the NHL in the 2017-18 season. He adds “I think what our fans are looking forward to and what I’m looking forward to is a season that is fresh and brand new, something that we can look forward to with young players coming in.”
Later in the video, Melnyk signals the Senators will have a new look on the ice in the 2018-19 season, and more new faces on the ice in the 2019-20 season.
“This coming year, we’re going to have 10 out of the 22 players are going to be new, meaning they are either rookies or maybe they played under 10 games last year,” Melnyk said. The owner adds “the following year, it’s going to go up to 15 of the 22, maybe 16.”
The Sens owner also says the Senators are “loaded up” on draft picks over the next few years.
Melnyk also addressed his ownership, saying “let me tell you something, first things first. I’m going to stick around here for a long, long time. I’m not going anywhere. And number two, the franchise isn’t going anywhere. That’s like totally solid. So everyone can get rid of the noise.”
Melnyk wrapped up the video by saying the Senators must give the fans “hope” the club knows what it’s doing to building a winner, adding the club is “shooting for the Stanley Cup.”
The Sens owner also published an open letter to fans in the Ottawa Sun Tuesday morning. Melnyk writes "last season, however, we were horrible, and it just wasn't acceptable. We must get back to winning, winning a lot more, and with more consistency."
Melnyk outlines four key pillars to rebuilding the organization so that it "represents the best of us." The four pillars are: hockey excellence, a fan-first experience, business growth and community engagement."