Gary Bettman discusses Senators failed arena project and potential relocation

Warning Sens fans, Bettman drops the R Bomb (Relocation).

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In case you missed it, last week it was revealed that the proposed LeBreton Flats proposal for a new rink in downtown Ottawa had essentially fallen through, with almost all of the blame being attributed to Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has long maintained that a new building close to Ottawa’s downtown core is absolutely essential if the team is going to be successful in the future.

With the LeBreton Flats deal dead and with Melnyk seemingly unable to fund construction on his own, fans are now asking, “What’s the team’s future?” Where will they play? Will they stay in Ottawa for the long haul?

“Major projects, the ebb and flow of team performance, is something that will change over time,” Bettman said following NHL meetings earlier today. “I know Eugene Melnyk is very committed to the Senators and is very focused on looking for what he has to do and what his best options are under the circumstances.”

But will the league step up and fix things?

“I haven’t been asked to step in, but we’re always willing to help when appropriate and when asked.”

As far as the relocation rumours go, Bettman isn’t having it. He dismissed the idea and said it wasn’t even worth discussing saying, “there’s no reason to be.”