On Monday night, the Ottawa Senators finally announced their plans to establish programs to help part-time arena workers affected by the NHL shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Then on Tuesday, owner Eugene Melnyk changed things up in a way that shocked most fans: he announced he is personally pledging financial support to part-time employees during the NHL pause.
Here is part of the team’s official statement which explains how the owner will come of aid for the employees:
“Accordingly, Ottawa Senators part-time arena staff will receive income for the shifts scheduled through to and including April 4, the end of the NHL regular season. At the same time, Mr. Melnyk has personally committed to paying part-time arena employees of the Belleville Senators through to April 11, the end of the AHL regular season, and the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Capital Sports & Entertainment and Mr. Melnyk continue to support and encourage our staff to practise safe health protocols during these unprecedented times.”
The Senators had three more home games scheduled at the Canadian Tire Centre in March to go along with another in April. Two concerts have been cancelled or postponed, while a visit from the Harlem Globetrotters was also scrubbed.
We wonder if the pandemic has changed Melnyk, who has been heavily criticized for several seasons now in Ottawa as he attempted to sale the team, has traded key players and ruined the fan experience at the Canadian Tire Centre.