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Eugene Melnyk, owner of NHL's Senators, dies at 62

March 29 (UPI) -- Eugene Melnyk, the owner of the Ottawa Senators, died from an illness, the NHL franchise announced. He was 62.

The Senators said the Melnyk died Monday, but did not specify which illness he battled.

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"The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a news release.

"The words 'passion' and 'commitment' define the man who has owned the Ottawa Senators since 2003.

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"Whether it was in the boardroom with his fellow governors, at the rink with his beloved Senators or in the community with his philanthropy, he cared deeply about the game, about his team and about bettering the lives of those in need, particularly underserved children, organ donation and, most recently, with his commitment to his parents' home country of Ukraine."

Melnyk was born May 27, 1959, in Toronto to Ukrainian parents. He went on to serve as the founder and chairman of Biovail Corp., which was once the largest pharmaceutical company in Canada.

He also served as the chairman for Neurolign, a medical device company, and for Clean Beauty Collective, a producer of ethically sourced products.

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Melnyk previously owned the American Hockey League's Belleville Senators and the Ontario Hockey League's Toronto St. Michael's Majors.

He also was an honorary colonel of the Canadian Armed Forces and a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

In 2003, Melnyk established Capital Sports & Entertainment, the group that owns and operates the Senators.

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"Loving father to Anna and Olivia, Eugene was a devoted son to Vera and the late Dr. Ferdinand Melnyk, a caring brother to Lydia and a loving companion to Sharilyne," the Senators said.

"The businessman, sports franchise owner and philanthropist died peacefully surrounded by his family and will be fondly remembered by his many friends and associates."

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