OTTAWA — A proposed new downtown arena for the Ottawa Senators is in jeopardy after mediation failed to produce a settlement between parties looking to develop a community at LeBreton Flats.
Judge Warren Winkler, the mediator retained by the RendezVous LeBreton Group, has advised the National Capital Commission that no settlement could be reached. The NCC had set Thursday as the deadline for a settlement.
The NCC board of directors will hold a teleconference on Thursday to review the development. The crown corporation, which controls the land, says it will hold a meeting on March 7 to finalize the process for the future redevelopment of LeBreton Flats.
Winkler had been presiding over mediation between partners in the RendezVous LeBreton Group: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, Trinity Development Group founder John Ruddy and GBA development and project management president Graham Bird.
Melnyk’s Capital Sports Management Inc., filed a $700-million lawsuit against Ruddy and Bird in November. Ruddy — also a member of the ownership group of the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks, the United Soccer League’s Ottawa Fury and the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s — responded with a $1-billion counterclaim.
While filing a statement of defence against Melnyk’s lawsuit, Bird got the three parties to agree to mediation in early January.
The Senators currently play at the Canadian Tire Centre in suburban Kanata.
The NHL team has dealt with a long list of negative headlines for on- and off-ice developments since falling one goal short of reaching the Stanley Cup final in 2017.
The Senators sit last in the NHL standings and traded away top forwards Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel for younger players and draft picks before this week’s trade deadline.
Ottawa also dealt its first pick in this year’s draft — expected to be very high because of the team’s poor record — in the original deal to get Duchene last season.
The Senators lost 7-2 to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night, Ottawa’s fifth defeat in a row.