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Tom Anselmi named Senators President and CEO

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Cyril Leeder is stepping down, effective immediately

MLS Press Conference Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The Senators have announced the hiring of Tom Anselmi as their new President and CEO today.

Anselmi’s previous career was largely with MLSE. He held the title of Chief Operating Officer with them from 1999 through 2013, Executive Vice-President from 2004 to 2012 and President from 2012 to 2013.

A notable section of his resume is his experience with venues - before his MLSE days, he was involved in the development of the Skydome and was the VP for arena operations for the Canucks and heavily involved with the construction of Rogers Arena. With MLSE he oversaw the construction of the Air Canada Centre. Eugene Melnyk confirmed that one of the reasons for his hiring was the LeBreton Flats project.

On the downside, he was also directly in charge for Toronto FC’s disastrous early years.

As for Cyril Leeder, he is stepping down effective immediately and is no longer part of the organization. Melnyk said it was time for a change, noting that “something” was missing under Leeder and a desire to reinvigorate the Sens brand.

Leeder has been the one constant for the franchise until today, and practically speaking he has been part of the Senators longer than the Senators have officially existed. Not just a “day one” part of the franchise, but day one of the idea of the franchise. He was President and CEO of Terrace Investments, was part of the infamous “chat over beer” along with Randy Sexton where Bruce Firestone first pitched the idea of bringing NHL hockey back to Ottawa, and was integral to the success of the following “Bring Back the Senators” campaign. He was President and CEO of the Sens since 2009, and COO for the 13 years prior to that.