Senators parting ways with president and CEO Tom Anselmi

OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators are parting ways with president and CEO Tom Anselmi.

The team announced in a Friday release that Anselmi, who was hired Jan. 27, 2017, will be “vacating his position.”

The Senators also announced a three-year contract extension for general manager Pierre Dorion, saying the team’s goal remains to win a Stanley Cup.

“Having come within one goal of last season’s Stanley Cup Final, we were hopeful entering this season,” Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said in the release. “Obviously our results have challenged those expectations.

“What remains unchanged is the dedication that goes into evaluating every aspect of this organization.”

Anselmi replaced Cyril Leeder, one of the founders of the Ottawa franchise, when he was hired as president and CEO just over a year ago.

The Toronto native worked for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment for 17 years before joining the Senators. He was promoted to COO of MLSE in 1999 — the year Toronto moved from Maple Leaf Gardens to Air Canada Centre. Anselmi was named president of MLSE in 2012 and left the company in September, 2013.

Melnyk and the Senators are in the early stages of a potential move from their current suburban arena to a new downtown space that Melnyk has called “critical” to the franchise’s success moving forward.

There was some progress on that front last week when Melnyk’s RendezVous LeBreton Group and the National Capital Commission reached an agreement in principle to redevelop LeBreton Flats, a 21-hectare patch of land beside Ottawa’s core.

Ottawa is 19-25-9 this season, second last to the Buffalo Sabres in the Eastern Conference.

Friday’s moves come less than three weeks before the NHL’s Feb. 26 trade deadline. Melnyk hinted that “changes” may be coming to Ottawa’s lineup.

“Today’s announcement reflects a renewed commitment to scouting, drafting and development,” Melnyk said. “It may require changes to our lineup. Rest assured, we will only tolerate pain with an end game in mind: building an organization that wins — at all levels — year in and year out.”

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