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Mlakar ends 'wonderful ride' with Sens

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"It's been a great run until this year, when we had a rocky road, but I have no doubt we'll be back on top again with this great management team going forward."
-- Roy Mlakar

From the depths of the National Hockey League to an unforgettable ride to the Stanley Cup final in 2007.

Yes, Roy Mlakar has seen absolute highs and the lowest of lows during his 13 years as president and CEO of the Ottawa Senators. But he leaves the organization comfortable in knowing more success is just around the corner for a franchise that saw its run of 11 straight playoff appearances end in 2008-09.

"We missed the playoffs my first year as a consultant (in 1995-96) and we've never looked back," Mlakar said Wednesday in his final news conference as the Senators' top executive. "It's been a great run until this year, when we had a rocky road, but I have no doubt we'll be back on top again with this great management team going forward."

Mlakar was informed Monday during a "40-minute excellent conversation" with team owner Eugene Melnyk that his contract wouldn't be renewed. A new executive management team headed up by Cyril Leeder will steer the franchise into the future.

"There isn't really anything specific," Mlakar said when asked why he felt Melnyk chose to move forward without him. "It's just a young, fresh approach and I respect that. I don't have a problem with it at all ... Often times, it's good to have new, fresh vision and ideas to take it to the next level."

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