Amid poor ticket sales in 2016, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk lashed out at his management team, leading to tumult and discord behind the scenes, a new lawsuit against the NHL club and Melnyk alleges.
Former Senators executive Peter O’Leary recently filed a $1.55-million lawsuit against the Senators and its owner, alleging his termination was in breach of his contract.
O’Leary’s 23-page claim provides a rare glimpse inside the Senators’ front office dynamics, revealing not only dysfunction but also alleged abusive behaviour by Melnyk.
Specifically, the claim alleges Melnyk “at times used profanity and levelled insults at executive team members, including constantly calling into question their competency. Mr. Melnyk sent abusive emails to the executive team and frequently threatened to dismiss them.”
O’Leary was hired on Aug. 21, 2014 to be the Senators’ chief marketing officer and vice-president of ticketing and was fired by Melnyk on Dec. 12, 2016, according to O’Leary’s statement of claim.
Melnyk and his Capital Sports holdings group, represented by Toronto lawyer Laurie Jessome, have filed a notice to defend. Contacted by Postmedia on Thursday, Melnyk said via email, “We believe it is inappropriate to comment on litigation before the courts.”
None of the allegations against Melnyk and the Senators has been tested in court.
O’Leary’s lawyers allege that Melnyk started…
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