B is for Bryden, as in Rod Bryden, owner of the Ottawa Senators from 1993 to 2003, replacing Bruce Firestone. While many fans have nothing but bad memories of his time as owner, from the poor early teams to the financial issues which lead to Eugene Melnyk's takeover of the club in 2003, Bryden's ownership of the club in its first decade helped shape its identity.
Bryden was owner, chairman, and governor of the club and it was his company, Palladium Corporation which began construction of the Palladium in 1994. Bryden managed to borrow enough to cover the nearly $200 million needed to construct the pastel coloured Colosseum.
While the arena became the Corel Centre soon after opening, financial troubles (mortgage holder's receivership in 2001, and Terrace Corporation's bankruptcy in 2003) would dog Bryden. The off-ice financial issues dominated the press the team received and in some circles overshadowed their President's Trophy winning season and their near miss in the conference finals. The financial issues that plagued the Jets, Nordiques, and Whalers in the mid-1990s and resulted in their relocations south disrupted the league and unsettled many fans of small market teams who feared their beloved squad would face the same fate. Declaring bankruptcy mid-season, Alfie and the boys help keep spirits high.
The Senators were bought by Eugene Melnyk that summer, finally achieving financial security. Despite personally owing creditors almost $100 million, Bryden was only required to pay back $600,000 to team and arena investors. Bryden is currently President and CEO of Pasco Energy Group.
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