The Ottawa Senators plan to build a new arena in the Lebreton Flats area near the downtown core has hit a snag, as the National Capital Commission has given a January deadline to fix what they call “internal partnership issues” among those looking to develop the land. Ottawa mayor Jim Watson was relatively blunt in his assessment of the situation and message to the Senators and Trinity Development Group:
A lot of work has gone into all of the preparatory documents, remediation, first nations consultation, the work that our city planning department has put into the whole exercise. So there’s a sense of disappointment and also a sense of frustration in the two groups that make up RendezVous LeBreton.
As I said in the board meeting, they have to get their act together plain and simple. Otherwise I think we’re going to have to move on in January.
The Senators currently play quite a bit outside the city center at an arena that is difficult for many fans to access, and have proposed a move closer to downtown for years. This announcement has to be taken as an extremely disappointing outcome at this stage, and will put a damper on any excitement that the project had built. The team now has just a few weeks to get their leadership in order, or risk losing the project altogether.
- In Montreal, things are looking much brighter. The Canadiens are expecting captain Shea Weber to make his season debut very soon, and could even see him join the lineup on Tuesday night. That’s quite a bit before the mid-December timeline that Weber was initially given, and should give the team a huge boost. Montreal has already exceeded expectations to start the year, and will now welcome back their best defenseman for a playoff push that seems much more realistic now than it did a few months ago. As we examined this morning, Weber’s return could also mean that the team has to move someone else out. Who that will be is still to be decided.
- Cody McLeod scored a goal last night for the first time since joining the New York Rangers, but subsequently injured his hand in a fight later in the game. That injury has now been revealed to be a fracture, meaning he’ll be out indefinitely. The team will be without his toughness and physicality as he deals with the injury.