March 25, 2019 | 9:30am ET
SENATORS SEARCHING FOR PRESIDENT OF HOCKEY OPS
Senators owner Eugene Melnyk
The Ottawa Senators are looking to add to their hockey management brass as owner Eugene Melnyk is hoping to add a man at the top, a President of Hockey Operations.
In an interview with Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, Melnyk revealed his plan to add a senior hockey ops official and added that such a hiring would not negatively impact GM Pierre Dorion’s position with the hockey club.
“That means when Pierre is negotiating contracts he has somebody who’s very experienced and is able to assist. This person is going to develop and decide on strategy,” Melnyk told the Sun. “What do we want to be in three or four years? Are we going to be an offensive team? A defensive team? What are we going to be? That’s what you want to talk about to these guys in interviews.”
It’s too early to tell whom the Senators may be looking at or considering for their new position, though Melnyk admitted he’s already spoken to some people about it.
Garrioch reported over the weekend that former Los Angeles Kings President GM Dean Lombardi, who now works for the Philadelphia Flyers, could be a prime candidate for the job, however TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported such a move was unlikely.
Lombardi has two-years left on his contract with Philadelphia and is not believed to be looking for a change of scenery.
“The job of accumulating assets is 90% done,” Melnyk said of his team’s rebuild. “It’s now deploying them, and how do you do that, and that’s where I think Pierre needs help. He needs a professional hockey sounding board for all hockey ops. I never replaced Bryan (Murray), but I always planned to. I had to wait, give it time and I had to let Pierre do his thing. With all these assets in place it’s time to bring in somebody in to help him out. It’s another voice, another thought.
“Plus we have an additional person to do things for the Ottawa Senators that is involved in the community.”
Melnyk reinforced his desire to hire someone who has won before.
“It’s very important. They have to be a winner,” he said. “They don’t necessarily have to have won a Stanley Cup — because I think there’s something to be said for somebody’s who’s hungry. Bryan Murray never won a Stanley Cup, but he was still one of the greatest and one of the best.
“I’m not going to rush just to fill that void. I’ve been doing what I would call soft recruiting. I’ve been looking and talking to people.”