In case you missed it last week the Senators Foundation, a charitable foundation supported by its namesake Ottawa Senators, announced that they’ll be breaking ties with the NHL team later this summer.
The news came as a surprise to many in the NHL, but not to Senators insiders like Ian Mendes of TSN and Rick Gibbons of The Ottawa Sun. According to Gibbons the split has to do with money, which is of course no surprise given the history of the Senators under owner Eugene Melnyk. In a recent column for The Sun, Gibbons accuses Melnyk of effectively strong-arming the Sens Foundation out of the organization.
Gibbons reports that Melnyk sought more control over the Foundation in particular when it comes to broadening its mandate. Melnyk, a survivor of a liver transplant, wanted to funnel more funds into organ donation, while the Sens Foundation’s mandate was focused on children with terminal or life-altering conditions. The Foundation made concessions to broaden its focus and include organ donation, but it wasn’t enough for Melnyk.
Then the hammer fell.
Gibbons reports that Melnyk’s pet project The Organ Project (TOP) donated less than $5,000 to organ donation causes despite raising $991,708 in revenues in 2018. For those counting, that’s less than half a cent for every dollar raised.
I’ll just go ahead and say it… Melnyk scammed everyone… ALLEGEDLY.
So, where did all TOP money go? A whopping $779,464 went to cover fundraising costs. Another $238,118 went to management and administration. Again, less than $5,000 from a $1 million gala was donated to charity. Sickening.
Now Melnyk wants to run the Sens Foundation the way he has run TOP. Sickening.
And now it seems like finally, FINALLY, NHL owners are beginning to push back. According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet a number of team owners have gone to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and have asked him to deal with Melnyk personally.
Check it out:
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the league has the will to make things change.
On it goes.