OTTAWA, Ontario – Eugene Melnick, owner of the Ottawa Senators, died of illness, the team said Monday night.
He was 62 years old.
The team announced Melnick’s death with a statement from his family, which said he had “faced an illness with determination and courage.” The statement did not explain what the disease was, and a team spokesperson did not immediately respond to a message requesting additional details.
Melnyk underwent a liver transplant in 2015 after a public campaign for a donor. He’s owned the Senators since 2003, when he bought the NHL club for $92 million. The team made its only appearance in the Stanley Cup Final while under Melnyk’s ownership, in 2007.
“The National Hockey League mourns the death of Ottawa Senator Eugene Melnick, owner of Ottawa,” National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Pittman said in a statement. The words ‘passion’ and ‘commitment’ define the man who has owned senators in Ottawa since 2003. Whether it’s in the boardroom with his fellow governors, on a skating rink with beloved senators, or in the community with his charitable work, He cared deeply about the game and his team and about improving the lives of those in need, particularly underserved children, organ donation, and most recently, his commitment to his parents’ homeland in Ukraine.
“While he was successful in business, our game and the Senators were what he was most passionate about. Eugene was often outspoken but he maintained an unwavering commitment to the game and his roots and loved nothing more than to wear the Senators’ jacket and cheer for his beloved team.”
The Toronto native has been involved in other businesses across Canada and in 2010 had a net worth of $1.21 billion.
Captain “Mr Melnyk gave me, my teammates and many of the Sens players who preceded us a chance to make our dream come true” Brady Tkachuk Posted on Twitter. The Ottawa community will miss you so much, my condolences to your family.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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