One of the founders of the modern Ottawa Senators franchise has received an honour of distinction from the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce.
Cyril Leeder, the chief operating officer of the Senators and Scotiabank Place, was named 'Business Person of the Year' during the Chamber's annual Ottawa Business Achievement Awards dinner held Thursday night at the Tudor Hall.
Leeder has been a part of the Senators organization since its return to the National Hockey League in 1992. He was instrumental in writing and presenting the key document to the NHL board of governors that led to the granting of the franchise two years earlier.
In 2007-08, the Senators set records for average (19,821) and total attendance (812,665), with 38 sellouts at Scotiabank Place. The per-game average ranked third in the 30-team NHL.
In addition, Leeder is a board member of the Sens Foundation and will soon serve his 10th year as chair of the Bell Capital Cup, the world's largest minor hockey tournament. He is also a key part of the group, headed up by Senators Sports & Entertainment owner Eugene Melnyk, that is aiming to land a Major League Soccer franchise for the city.
Previously, Leeder was a finalist for the Chamber's Business Person of the Year award in 2006, when he was also named Ottawa Tourism's Leader of the Year.