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Dear Leeder: Thank You

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We wouldn’t be here without you

Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

Dear Cyril Leeder,

Thank you for not just being part of the campaign to bring NHL hockey back to Ottawa, but being a founding member. The modern-day Ottawa Senators literally would never have existed without your efforts. The idea may have seemed outrageous when first presented to you by Bruce Firestone over beer, but you bought in and you helped pull it off.

Thank you for helping guide the franchise through the various storms in it’s history. As if getting the team here wasn’t enough, you’ve been a part in keeping it here when it’s continued existence was threatened. Maybe more times than we know.

Thank you for all of the work you’ve done in the community. Both the programs that you worked to grow such as the Sens Foundation and Rogers House, but also programs that you were directly behinds such as the Bell Capital Cup and the Rink of Dreams program. The city would not be the same without those efforts.

Thank you for personally being there for the fans. Stories abound of encounters that fans have had with you. Always willing to chat about the Sens, taking both compliments and letting fans vent to you. This is beyond casual encounters too, with stories of you going out of your way to engage fans during your time with the team. I would bet that not many other NHL team presidents have been as approachable as you have.

For everything you have done for this franchise and this city, thank you. You will be missed.