Melnyk: Senators will be 'Stanley Cup winner within 4 years'
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk's confidence is sky-high as his club enters a new era.
"I truly believe that we are a Stanley Cup winner within four years," the Senators owner said, according to the Financial Post's Joe O'Connor. "It can happen any time, but within four years."
Despite finishing in the bottom two of the league's standings over the past three seasons, there's promising talent on the horizon for the Senators.
The club selected six players - including blue-chip prospects Tim Stuetzle and Jake Sanderson - in the first two rounds of the 2020 draft, and they'll add to a roster that already includes youngsters Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot.
Ottawa also secured its future netminder, bringing in 26-year-old Matt Murray on a four-year, $25-million pact.
With so much excitement, Melnyk hopes fans will get a chance to experience the club firsthand soon. The 61-year-old outlined a safe seating plan that would allow for 6,000 fans at the Canadian Tire Centre, and he poked fun at the franchise in the process.
"I can assure you that even the Ottawa Senators, who don’t have a great record of bringing fans in over the past few years, will have a sellout crowd," said Melnyk.
The Senators ranked dead last in attendance in 2019-20, averaging just 12,618 fans per game, according to ESPN.
The league is tentatively targeting a Jan. 1 start date for the 2020-21 campaign, and Melnyk believes there could be fans in the building by February.