The Ottawa Senators have made a major change in their organization, as Tom Anselmi has been named the team’s president and CEO.
Anselmi comes to the Senators with a solid background in sports business. He served 17 years at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, rising to the title of president and COO before departing in 2013.
“Tom’s distinguished career in sports and his previous senior executive roles with two other Canadian NHL clubs will be invaluable as we continue our efforts to build an organization that will prepare us for the future and the exciting opportunities which lie ahead,” said Senators owner Eugene Melnyk in a statement.
That future for the Senators could include a new arena. In November, the Canadian National Capital Commission allowed Melnyk’s proposal for a new venue as part of a LeBreton Flats redevelopment to move forward.
Some observers, including former Edmonton Oilers president and CEO Patrick LaForge, believe that Anselmi’s experience will be key to the Senators, who are still working through the details of the plan. More from CBC News:
LaForge said Anselmi’s time as president of Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment, when he managed the Toronto Maple Leafs transition to the Air Canada Centre and the renovation of BMO Field for Toronto FC, has prepared him for the task ahead.
“He’s managed a number of mega-deals associated with the building of MLSE. He’s got some experience there,” LaForge said. “And I got to tell you, in that vein, that experience is worth a lot. It’s worth a lot. This [LeBreton Flats redevelopment] is going to be a big one.”
Anselmi’s appointment became effective when it was announced on Wednesday. He will be taking over for Cyril Leeder, who is stepping down from the post.
If the Senators’ LeBreton Flats plans moves forward, the arena could open for the 2020-21 NHL season.