Senators arena security wages war on anti-Melnyk fans

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It used to be love. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/5428/" data-ylk="slk:Sean Kilpatrick">Sean Kilpatrick</a>)
It used to be love. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)

Things in Ottawa are going to hell in a hurray as one of the most tense trade deadlines in the franchise’s history looms.

Over the past week, rumblings of a potential Erik Karlsson trade began to grow louder. Within the last day, the status of the situation has gone from the Senators “listening” to offers on their captain to “actively negotiating different trade possibilities for Karlsson with a few teams,” according to TSN‘s Bob McKenzie, among others.

With arguably the best defenceman in franchise history about to be flipped in the prime of his career, and angst with polarizing owner Eugene Melnyk continuing to mount, a few fans flaunted homemade signs plastered with slogans like “Take Eugene Not Karlsson” and “Melnyk Out” during Ottawa’s 5-3 loss to the Flyers on Saturday.

Security personnel (likely on orders from the top) at the Canadian Tire Centre reportedly threatened these fans before confiscating some of those signs. Someone in attendance captured a video of one of the altercations, which apparently resulted in the ejection of another fan trying to film the encounter.

Another video captured from across the rink:

Who knows how many fans were actually ejected or just given a “talking to,” but regardless of how everything went down with these signs, the fact that any of this is happening is a serious condemnation on its owner — a perfect representation of the circus the Senators organization has become just months after finishing within a goal of a Stanley Cup final appearance.

This latest demonstration against the team’s owner comes a day after top-line centre Derick Brassard was flipped to the Penguins, and in the midst of a hurricane of trade rumours surrounding Karlsson — a favourite in the nation’s capital.

The team’s owner and the two-time Norris Trophy winner have had a fairly public falling out over the past few months, but the fans are clearly on Karlsson’s side — as they should be. Unfortunately, at this point it’s looking like #KarlssonOut is a much more likely scenario than #MelnykOut.

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