#MelnykOut – Four Billboards Outside Kanata, Ontario

COVER PHOTO: @AccurateEric

In the town of Kanata, Ontario, Ottawa Senators fans are disgruntled over the potential departure of a generational hockey talent in Erik Karlsson. Angry over the lack of progress in mending the relationship between Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and Karlsson, Sens fans rented abandoned billboards across the region, and posted: “#MelnykOut – Paid For By The Fans.” The billboards upset the townspeople, including Chief Eugene Melnyk and Officer Pierre Dorion.

Nominated for BEST PICTURE at the Kanata Recreation Centre Film Festival and dubbed “A Garbage Movie” by acclaimed critic for the Ottawa Sun, Don Brennan.

NILSENREPORT FILMS presents a Smoke’s Burrito production in association with A-Channel News. Starring Spartacat with the former Prime Ministers and Canadian Tire Security. Music by the Missing Chiclets. Story by Bruce Garrioch. Edited by Eugene Melnyk. Screenplay by Daniel Alfredsson and directed by Aaron Nilsen.

Is putting up #MelnykOut billboards across the city an effective way to be nationally covered by the media?

Without a doubt, yes.

Does this help start a conversation about the rising fan disapproval of the Ottawa Senators ownership?

Uhhhh, sure. Specifically, it encourages Facebook trolls to crawl out of their cave to type gibberish comments on random articles.

What matters more: Erik Karlsson re-signing or Eugene Melnyk selling the Ottawa Senators franchise?

Are the above two issues linked? Is there any chance Erik Karlsson stays under the current ownership?

The media is stating they are connected—but is this really the case? Is there not an angle here where Karlsson just wants to leave Ottawa, while Melnyk is the easy scapegoat to blame? Of course the TMZ hockey websites of the world want the fans to think this, but how do we know for sure?

We don’t. But we can read between the lines.

I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of discussing whether donating to a GoFundMe initiative for a #MelnykOut billboard is worthwhile, because who’s to say it’s not? As a consumer and a fan, I appreciate the passion behind voicing such displeasure with this team’s ownership.

However, is putting up #MelnykOut billboards across the city a good idea?

Not necessarily.

The media attention should be on Karlsson instead of Melnyk. Why not have a #KeepKarlsson billboard instead? It’s not a given that Karlsson would even stay with the Senators even if Melnyk sold the team tomorrow, is it?

The day Daniel Alfredsson signed with the Detroit Red Wings was one of the darkest in franchise history. On the verge of losing arguably the most skilled player to ever wear a Ottawa Senators jersey, the fanbase is desperate—I get it.

Instead of pointing fingers at who’s to blame—for what could be possibly another dark day in the near future—I encourage fans to come together and put their efforts in campaigning for Karlsson to stay. A #KeepKarlsson may not be as protest-worthy, but it allows for a little hope at the end of the tunnel.

What if he stays?