The wait is nearly over for the Ottawa Senators and their faithful.
After one of the longest off-seasons in the history of the club, the Senators were thrilled to hear Sunday afternoon the NHL’s board of governors approved the Return to Play plan to start the season Jan. 13 that was agreed to with the NHL Players’ Association Friday night.
It’s been 285 days since the Senators left the ice after a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center and there’s been no shortage of changes in the last 10 months. A schedule isn’t expected to be released until later this week, but club officials remain hopeful they’ll be able to play home games at the Canadian Tire Centre.
Owner Eugene Melnyk, who was on the call with the governors Sunday afternoon with president of business operations Anthony LeBlanc, is thrilled.
“As an owner, and especially as a die-hard hockey fan, I am thrilled to know that I can soon watch my favourite game after a long, long pandemic break,” Melnyk told Postmedia in an email Sunday night. “I am excited for our loyal fans in Ottawa, who will finally have the opportunity to see the talent and bright stars of the future we’ve put together on our team after a tough rebuilding process.