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'The future looks very bright': Andlauer introduced as new Sens owner

The new owner of the Ottawa Senators vowed to put fans at the forefront as a "very bright" new era begins for the franchise.

"While I officially wear the title of owner of the Ottawa Senators I understand that this city and the fans, you're the true owners," said Michael Andlauer as he was formally introduced Friday morning. "And I promise to take care of your team with the utmost respect, integrity and care both on and off the ice."

Andlauer says his first priority is to learn and deal with one of the most pressing issues for the team: real estate.

"We've got federal buildings that are empty, we've got the NCC, the best piece of land available in any major city in probably North America that's available for development and obviously this building," he said when asked whether he was considering LeBreton Flats or other options for a new arena.

"To me the most important thing is what's important for the fans. If I can increase the fan experience that's what I'm here for," Andlauer said. "The mayor wants it, the NCC wants it, the Ottawa Senators want it, the fans want it. So we're all going in the same direction so it's a matter of collaborating, working together and seeing what works."


The Andlauer-backed bid to buy the Ottawa Senators was announced the winner in June after the team went up for sale in November 2022 following the death of Eugene Melynk. Melnyk's daughters Anna and Olivia have retained a 10 per cent share of the franchise through the Melnyk estate.

"It's been a long road but I must tell you it's been worth the journey. I can really say I'm finally home," he said.

Ottawa Senators NHL hockey team owner Michael Andlauer (centre) smiles during a press conference in Ottawa on Friday September 22, 2023. The NHL announced Thursday that the transfer of the club to a group led by Andlauer has been unanimously approved by the league's board of governors, and that the transaction has been completed. (Fred Chartrand/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Investors in the group include the Malhotra family, owners of Claridge Homes and Jeff York, a Farm Boy partner and special advisor, who's leading a group of local business leaders.

"It's a really unique group of investors who bring a unique set of qualities and passion both on and off the ice."


Andlauer said Ottawa's fans are "the team's lifeline."

"We play between two major markets, Toronto and Montreal. They both believe they are the centre of the hockey universe. I've been the underdog all my life and I know we have the team, the staff, the fans, the community to prove them wrong," he said.

"Together we will make the city proud and let's bring the [Stanley] Cup back to Ottawa."


Andlauer thanked his family, especially his wife for sticking with him throughout the long process.

"A few times when this deal dragged along she was the one who pushed me," he said.

He also thanked his three children, joking that they were "allowing me to spend their inheritance to pursue my passion."

Andlauer's mom wasn't able to be at the news conference because she tested positive for COVID-19.

"She's the one who raised me, taught me the importance of hard work, discipline and most of all respect," he said.


One of Andlauer's first moves was to reinstate Cyril Leeder as the president and CEO of the organization.

Cyril Leeder, who is returning as president and CEO of the Ottawa Senators, speaks at a news conference on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023.

"It's not often in life that you get a second chance or a do-over on things that are really important to you and clearly this is one of those occasions for me personally," Leeder said.

He also weighed in on the future location of an arena.

"Whatever decision we do with the arena will be through the lens of the fan." Top Stories

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