The Roy Mlakar era with the Ottawa Senators is now over. 13 years has flown by and the Prez has much to be proud of. He would never run through that list of things for you because Roy would much rather talk about the kid he met at CHEO last week or the new piece of equipment they just moved into Rogers House. That to me marks the Mlakar era. All the things Roy did not only for the franchise but for this community. The selfless use of his time and power to make things better for a great many people, while running a franchise from bankruptcy to the top of the NHL’s list of best run franchises.
Roy and his wife Tami will be missed of that there is no doubt. Get your office pool going now and try to predict what in this city will be named after him. You know something will.
I am very relieved that the reigns of the franchise have gone to Cyril Leeder. I think I am not alone when I say I like the fact that one of us is the new man. Someone from outside Ottawa would have a difficult time fitting in, filling the shoes and being accepted while doing it. Cyril has been around since before day #1 and in fact was one of the architects to put the bid together to get the franchise in the first place. Cyril is loyal, hard working and very, very smart. If two jobs are now going to be combined into one, Cyril is the right choice. He cares deeply, he is fully committed and he is the kind of competitive person who wants to win at everything. You have to admire that.
It is the nature of business and also the hockey business. The owner always has the prerogative to structure his company the way he likes and Mr. Melnyk has chosen this route.
My father once told me that change is not to be feared, it is to be expected. Still change can be hard. This franchise and this city is losing a very good man.
See you at the rink.