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Leeder hired, Mlakar out as Sens president and CEO

The Canadian Press

6/15/2009 5:22:49 PM

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators are making some front-office changes.

President and CEO Roy Mlakar will leave the job when his contract expires at the end of the month, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk announced Monday.

Melnyk has promoted chief operating officer Cyril Leeder to president of the club and Senators Sports & Entertainment.

Joining Leeder on the executive team will be Erin Crowe, who will serve as executive vice-president and chief financial officer, and Bryan Murray, who will continue as the Senators general manager and will now add executive vice-president to his duties.

Mlakar's contract expires June 30 and the new appointments will take effect July 1.

"Roy Mlakar's leadership over the past 13 years has been an impressive journey of achievement and success," Melnyk said in a release. "Roy has worked in professional sports for nearly 40 years. That depth of experience and leadership, along with his constant compassion and support for Ottawa's many charitable organizations has contributed greatly to defining the Ottawa Senators and our relationship with our community and our fans."

Melnyk said he spent four months evaluating the long-term objectives of Senators Sports & Entertainment before making the organizational changes.

"Returning the Stanley Cup to Ottawa remains my top priority for Senators Sports & Entertainment, but we will also continue to stay focused and work very hard at seeking out additional opportunities to invest further in Ottawa," said Melnyk.

Melnyk is looking to eventually bring an MLS team to the city and says the new executive team will "be responsible for managing and more effectively integrating our current business as well as source future opportunities for growth beyond hockey."

The Senators finished out of the playoffs this season with a 36-35-11 record.