Changes Coming To Senators' Front Office With Ruszkowski Departure
The Senators' front office will have a "new look going into next season" with Nic Ruszkowski leaving his role as COO, according to Bruce Garrioch of the OTTAWA CITIZEN. Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk is "putting a new structure in place in the front office," with finance consultant Brian Crombie taking over as CFO, Senior VP/Sales Mark Bonneau becoming CRO and AHL Belleville Senators COO Rob Mullowney being named Senior Dir of Corporate Sales. The club also hired former Canada Soccer PR Manager Carrie Croft as Senior Dir of Communications. Ruszkowski will "remain in an advisory role through the summer to help with the transition," and the "parting is amicable." He was "brought in to try to help craft the club’s message to the community, but it hasn’t been easy and the organization has some heavy lifting to do to try get more corporate support." The Senators "need to focus on their business and Ruszkowski doesn’t have that kind of background." Bonneau will be "charged with the job of helping the Senators to build up their season-ticket base" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 5/9).
WAITING IS THE HARDEST PART: In Ottawa, Ken Warren noted under "normal circumstances, the reconstruction of the business side of an NHL team’s front office is hardly headline-grabbing stuff." But the Senators' "organizational game of musical chairs has become a story because of the ongoing instability for the past several years." A prominent player agent in December indicated that ownership stability is the "No. 1 factor that weighs into a free agent’s decision on where to sign and whether to stay" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 5/9). The CITIZEN's Garrioch in a separate piece notes the Senators will "play the waiting game in their search for a president of hockey operations, and don’t expect a decision" until "after the playoffs are over." Melnyk has "made it clear he’s not trying to replace" GM Pierre Dorion. The organization "wants somebody with experience who can assist the GM as the rebuild enters a pivotal stage." Melnyk said that he is "open to the idea of bringing in one or two people in senior advisory roles rather than hiring a president of hockey operations" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 5/9).