eugene-melnyk.jpg
Getty Images

Eugene Melnyk, the owner of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators since 2003, died on Monday from an undisclosed illness. He was 62.

The Senators announced the news on their website, writing, “It is with great sadness that the family of Eugene Melnyk and the Ottawa Senators hockey organization announce his passing on March 28, 2022 after an illness he faced with determination and courage.”

While Melnyk was owner, Ottawa advanced to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final and the Eastern Conference finals in 2017. Melnyk was also a horse breeder with victories in events including the Canadian Triple Crown, the Travers Stakes in Saratoga and the Gold Cup in Barbados.

Senators winger Brady Tkachuk took to Twitter to share his thoughts on Melnyk’s death, writing “Mr. Melnyk provided me, my teammates, and many Sens players who came before us with an opportunity to live out our dream. The Ottawa community will miss you greatly. Condolences to your family.”

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also released a statement on the passing. Here part of it, via NHL.com:

“The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. The words ‘passion’ and ‘commitment’ define the man who has owned the Ottawa Senators since 2003. Whether it was in the boardroom with his fellow governors, at the rink with his beloved Senators or in the community with his philanthropy, he cared deeply about the game, about his team and about bettering the lives of those in need, particularly underserved children, organ donation and, most recently, with his commitment to his parents’ home country of Ukraine.”

The statement continued, saying, “While successful in business, it was our game and his Senators that he was most passionate about. Eugene was often outspoken, but he maintained an unwavering commitment to the game and his roots and he loved nothing more than donning a Senators sweater and cheering on his beloved team.”