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Melnyk, Dorion face season ticket holders in town hall meeting

While there was a slew of topics - good and bad - there were some firm promises management made that fans can be happy about. 
2018 Ottawa Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk-1
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

There is no denying things got a little tense at times. 

Ottawa Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk and General Manager Pierre Dorion addressed roughly 300 season ticket holders Tuesday at their first of three scheduled town hall meetings, which follow a season many fans would much rather forget.

While there was a slew of topics - good and bad - there were some firm promises management made that fans can be happy about. 

Melnyk promised that by the 2018-19 season, parking fees will be by 40 per cent. That means the $20 lots will now be $12. Melnyk also mentioned that the tarps covering roughly 2,000 seats in the upper 300 sections will be removed.

He called the decision to do that a "mistake." 

Along with these two promises, there was also mention of food and parking discounts for fans as incentives to get them to arrive early for games or stay late afterwards. 

But when conversations and questions got tough, things went a little downhill. 

While both Dorion and Melnyk reiterated their commitment to Captain Erik Karlsson and said they will be offering him a contract come July 1, Melnyk didn't shy away from saying that keeping the all-star defenceman might not be possible. 

"There are teams that can outgun us five to one," said Melnyk, answering a question from a fan about how much he'll be willing to pay Karlsson to remain an Ottawa Senator long term. 

Melnyk also got in some hot water when he snapped back at a fan who suggested that he was being hypocritical for asking fans to be "all in", when the fan accused the owner of not following his own advice.


And perhaps the biggest takeaway from Tuesday's meeting would be the shared belief from the two heads of the organization about the local media's coverage of the team this season.

Menlynk and Dorion used works like miscommunication, lies and nonsense when speaking about the general coverage of the team, largely blaming the press for the controversy that was stirred up from Melnyk's comments ahead of the NHL 100 Classic in December, where he called out the fanbase.

The meeting was the first of three with season ticket holders.

The other two will be held Wednesday morning and evening.


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