Mlakar was selected for his leadership, business success, competitiveness and community involvement. With Mlakar at the helm, the Senators set several franchise records in 2007-08, including total season attendance at 812,665 and most sell-outs at 38 (34 consecutive to end the season). The Senators also made their 11th consecutive playoff appearance last season the longest current streak among Canadian teams and second longest (along with the New Jersey Devils) in the National Hockey League behind the Detroit Red Wings (17 straight).
The 2008-09 season will be Mlakar's 13th as president and CEO of the Ottawa Senators. He was elevated to his dual role with Scotiabank Place in May of 1998.
Mlakar brings more than 38 years of professional sports experience to his current position. He spent seven seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, including five as an executive vice-president and two as club president. Following his stint with the Kings, Mlakar served as chief operating officer for the Pittsburgh Penguins for two seasons before joining the Senators.
Mlakar sits on the board of directors of the Sens Foundation, the Candlelighters and the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame. He was named to the NHL's Executive Business Advisory Board in 2007. In 2006, he received the Community Builder Award from the United Way. In 2005, he won the first annual Brian Kilrea Award, recognizing contribution and commitment to the Ottawa community.
The selection was made by a committee chaired by OBJ publisher Michael Curran, Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation president Jeffery Dale and past award recipients. Mlakar will be celebrated at a gala dinner at the Canadian War Museum on Friday, Oct. 10. The event will also raise money for Roger’s House through a charity draw.
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