Big news came out of the NHL today with the preseason about to get underway, as the Ottawa Senators have sold the team to Toronto Billionaire Michael Andlauer and the Andlauer group who bought the team for $950 million. The largest in NHL history!
The NHL approved this deal unanimously by the league’s board of governors with Andlauer’s ability to assume control immediately. The Andlauers agreed on a deal back in June for nearly $1 billion before making it official this week.
Andlauer has already been engaged with the community, which is a good sign, as he’s already participated in a Senators’ golf charity event where he said “I probably shouldn’t be here, officially, but this is an important day.”
Words you love to hear from your owner as a player and fan of the organization that will make you feel comfortable playing for the man in charge.
Andlauer is no rookie to this role, as he’s already been an owner before, as he was a co-owner for the Montreal Canadiens, which he has been since 2009.
Andlauer will have a 90% ownership stake with the Senators and the other remaining 10% will remain with the estate of the late previous owner, Eugene Melnyk who passed away at 62 due to complications with liver failure.
Andlauer will lead a group that includes local business leaders, as well as the two daughters of the later owner in Melnyk.
Andlauer said he and his partners are “aligned and committed to bringing on- and off-ice success to the National Capital Region. I cannot wait to get to Ottawa and get things officially started. It is an incredibly exciting time for the franchise, fans, and the community.”
"My family and I are thrilled to officially be a part of Ottawa’s team and the Ottawa-Gatineau community.”
Here’s Andlauer’s full press conference on Friday:
Andlauer hopes to bring a new energy and fresh breath of air to an organization that has missed the playoffs consecutively each of the past six seasons, and even ranked 25th in average attendance, as they play in one of the smallest markets.
The Senators aim to build a new arena in Ottawa’s LeBreton Flats, which is 16 miles south of the Canadian Tire Centre that’s been around for 27 years.
The Senators are in for a new era under new ownership that hopes to flourish in a new generation for Senator fans and a new arena on the horizon that looks to generate higher revenue down the line.
But first is trying to build the right team and accumulate talent… Let’s see what Andalauer and the crew do.