The hockey world is in mourning this evening, as the Ottawa Senators confirmed that owner Eugene Melnyk has died at age 62. A message from the Melnyk family indicated that he passed “after an illness he faced with determination and courage.”
Melnyk purchased the Senators in 2003, when the team was facing bankruptcy and possible relocation. While the team has still yet to raise the Stanley Cup as champions, they did reach the Final in 2007 and went to the Conference Finals in 2017.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released the following statement:
The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. The words ‘passion’ and ‘commitment’ define the man who has owned the Ottawa Senators since 2003. Whether it was in the boardroom with his fellow governors, at the rink with his beloved Senators or in the community with his philanthropy, he cared deeply about the game, about his team and about bettering the lives of those in need, particularly underserved children, organ donation and, most recently, with his commitment to his parents’ home country of Ukraine.
While successful in business, it was our game and his Senators that he was most passionate about. Eugene was often outspoken but he maintained an unwavering commitment to the game and his roots and he loved nothing more than donning a Senators sweater and cheering on his beloved team.
On behalf of the entire National Hockey League, I extend my deepest sympathies to Eugene’s daughters, Anna and Olivia, his extended family, and all those who benefited from his generosity.
The entire hockey world, including those of us at PHR, send our condolences to his children Anna and Olivia, partner Sharilyne and the rest of the Melnyk family.