Ottawa Senators ownership is preparing to launch a bid for an NHL team, which it has said it hopes to secure in 2019.
In a series of tweets Friday, Ottawa’s owner Eugene Melnyk said he plans to meet with his fellow owners to “discuss a number of topics, including an expansion franchise for the Ottawa Senators.”
Melnyk, who has held the title of majority owner of the Ottawa Fury since last summer, said the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Corp. is seeking to buy the franchise from former owners Ted Leonsis and Tim Leiweke.
Leonsis was sold in 2018 to an investor group led by Vancouver-based media mogul James Loon.
Leonses’ ownership group, which included Leonsys sons, owns the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Fury were sold to an American investor group in 2017.
The team is expected to return to Ottawa in 2021-22.
Ottawa’s new ownership group also includes former Ottawa players, including the likes of Sean Kuraly and Scott Kosmachuk, who played with the team from 2012-15.
In January, the Fury announced a new name, and Leonsises name was added to the roster.
Leigh, who had a lengthy career with the Fury, is now a minority shareholder.
Ottens ownership group says it’s not seeking to expand its team but to build a team in CanadaThe Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Corp., the majority shareholder of the Fury and one of the owners of the New England Revolution, has confirmed that it is planning to sell the team in 2019 to a group led and supported by the Leonsís group.
The group, known as the Ottawa Alliance, includes former NHL players, coaches and executives.
Ottennas plan includes expansion to 2026If the Fury were to return, it would become the 10th Canadian-owned professional sports team.
It would join Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Calgary Flames as teams that are owned by Canadians.
The Fury currently play in Quebec City.
Ottos owner says ‘there’s no reason why the team should be in Canada’Leonsís name will be on the team’s new crest.
The group said it has no interest in an expansion team in the United States, a country that has hosted four Canadian teams in the NHL.
The team has also said it would like to move its training centre to Ontario, although it has not yet announced an expansion plan.
The Ottawa Alliance is currently trying to land an NHL franchise, but Ottawa is the only Canadian market in which that is possible.
The Canadian Professional Hockey League, the North American Hockey League and the National Hockey League are all in Canada.