The Ottawa Senators have been embroiled in a pursuit of a downtown arena for some time, and John Shannon of Sportsnet may finally have some good news for fans in Canada’s capital. Shannon reports that there will be a “positive announcement” made on Thursday between the Senators and National Capital Commission concerning the LeBreton Flats area.
Currently, the Senators play far outside the downtown core in an arena that is difficult to get to for many fans. They’ve had attendance issues in the past, and owner Eugene Melnyk has railed against the fan base for not showing up to support the team despite successes. With the club struggling this season and the long-term future of captain Erik Karlsson still up in the air, any step—no matter how small—towards a downtown arena is an important one for the Senators.
- Meanwhile the New York Islanders, while they wait for their new arena in Belmont Park to be built in the next few years, could soon come to an agreement to play some games back at Nassau Coliseum. That’s according to Jim Baumbach of Newsday, who reports that the team will likely play games at both Barclays and Nassau over the next few seasons though doesn’t have an answer to how those games will be structured. Larry Brooks of the New York Post adds that it is Barclays that is pressuring the Islanders into a deal that would have them play the majority of the games back in Nassau, and using their opt-out of the current lease agreement as leverage.
- Finally, Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in New York today to speak generally about the league coming to the Pacific Northwest. Though the potential ownership group hasn’t yet submitted an application for expansion, Durkan is certainly putting her full support behind the idea. On Twitter, Durkan expressed her excitement and dedication to bringing the NHL to Seattle, even throwing a little challenge out to the Vancouver Canucks, a natural geographic rival should expansion occur.