Early Days for Anthony Leblanc: New Uniforms, New Logo, NEW Sens Foundation
By Sylvain Godin | The Sens Report
Two pieces of news dropped recently regarding changes with the community and team. The Senators will be rebranding and redesigning their current logo. The strong indication is that they will go back to their old Senators jerseys that were prominent in the early 2000s, but one can maybe expect a surprise with a bit of a modern ‘flair’.The other piece of news is that the Senators have registered a new foundation called the “Senators Community Foundation (Shortened to the SCF…hmm…what else has that acronym? Oooh, Stanley Cup Finals? Years of unparalleled success? Wasn't this the carrot dangled in front of us? Hmmm...)
Right now, the Senators are not slated to play a meaningful game until December. As such, the team needs to stay relevant in the community and this is a good start.
Senators Community Foundation
When the Senators broke off from their old foundation this summer, I wondered if there might have been a disagreement between the Foundation members and Eugene Melnyk and the allocation of funds. With the people they've put in place, this may add more credence to the argument. The Senators opened their new foundation in front of Brewer Park - the location of a COVID-19 testing center. They introduced the foundation's new name and its new Executive Director in the Big Rig himself, Chris Phillips. This is a fantastic play by the Senators. Phillips is known as such a great individual who has given so much to the community and team. Other than Alfie, Phillips is probably one of the most well-recognized Senators ever and placing him as the head of this new initiative will endear the new organization to the community right away. To me, this is a home run for Melnyk.
Anthony Leblanc, the Senators President of Business Operations, who introduced Phillips at the event, did not indicate that there is a specific focus to the foundation, but one would think that having people who are inside the Senators organization running the foundation, the words of the owner will weigh far more. Currently, they're looking at all charities and initiatives, giving an “all doors open” feeling. A neat little sidebar: Chris was there in person, handing out bobbleheads for any children that were going to the center to get tested. That’s awesome, honestly. It gives the kids a memory and a reward for having done something so brave. It cannot be a fun experience (from what I’ve been told), so a bit of incentive is really a well-thought initiative by the organization. Already scoring points in the community is a great way to start.
Joining the board of directors for this is people that are, again, a lot more known to the Senators group: Former Senator defenceman Brendan Bell and Tara Borowiecki, wife of current free agent Mark Borowiecki. With that in mind, either that signals Boro’s coming back to the Sens or looking at sliding into early retirement. Either way, while I am aware that what our wives do may not necessarily reflect our own work, it’s usually a good indication either way. My two cents.
The rebranding of the Ottawa Senators:
Leblanc has promised that a rebrand is well on its way and fans will be seeing this change in the coming weeks. While the rebrand may not put bums in the seats (actually no bums go into the seats until COVID decides to stop ruining the party!), this is another weapon in the Sens' arsenal to try to re-engage with a disgruntled fanbase. Much of the fanbase loves the old 2D retro. Switching to it makes the fans feel heard. When fans feel heard, they're more likely to return being actively engaged with the team. I am expecting a bit of a change-up in certain aspects to modernize the look, but the 2D logo will apparently remain as is.
Truth be told, I am indifferent to the logo change myself. If I speak, as a fan, about what I desire, I much prefer watching the team and whatever they wear doesn’t matter to me. But there is no denying that a good logo and a good brand design can generate revenue sales. A rebrand could give a good shot in the arm for finances and help stop the hemorrhaging the team has suffered the last few years.
Who is Anthony Leblanc?
The Senators have a new President of Business Operations, but maybe not a lot of people would know much about his background. Leblanc made quite a splash in Arizona but actually hails from Ottawa. He was a season-ticket holder and, in 2013, was co-owner and CEO of the Coyotes. It’ll be interesting to see if his strong ties to the city will help him draw new interest in the team and get people to engage once more. It’s a very steep hole but, so far, Leblanc has done a lot of good. We’ll see what his legacy is further down the road, but I feel good about his early days.
A little bit of personal news…
On Sunday the 9th, an unfortunate event happened in Steve’s life: His father passed away. Steve took the time to write up a fantastic article about his passing as well as his thoughts and I urge anyone who has gone through the pain (I have myself, at the age of 13) to give it a read. It is beautifully written and a lot of what Steve writes I remember doing with my father. My sincere condolences go out to him, his family and anyone who knew his father. I did not have the pleasure to meet the man, but after reading Steve’s article, I can say that he was a fantastic father. He is never gone, but always within your heart. Here’s the article link: https://www.stevewproject.com/post/a-few-thoughts-and-memories-about-the-man-i-loved-most
Final bits and pieces
I haven’t really been plugged into the NHL playoffs the way I usually am. It’s harder to be as invested when it's August and the team you cover isn’t there. However, the storyline of Montreal knocking Pittsburgh out was glorious. Both teams may be hated by the Senators fan base, but there is something good about not only knocking the Penguins out of the playoffs but seeing them lose out on the number one pick.
And of course, the Leafs tradition of socially distancing themselves from the Cup lives on. I’m fully expecting a fantastic Blue Team Elimination Watch at some point. Keep on following that dream of never winning the cup, Blue Team. Senators fans will keep cheering you on.
As always, thanks for reading!