Leeder excited for opener, wonders "could we have paved more stuff?"

by Joe Boughner (@McLlwainsWorld)

OTTAWA - With the puck set to drop on the home opener this weekend, Ottawa Senators President Cyril Leeder sat down with the RBM team for a lengthy one-on-one interview to discuss all the changes made in the offseason.

"We went in with a plan to really improve this team's fan experience," Leeder explained. "And I think we were successful in achieving that plan."

Leeder pointed to the acquisition of the new Club Bell section as a key development.

"The Club Bell seats, you know, they're really good down low, especially against the boards," Leeder observed. "They're going to create a lot more space for our perimeter seating as well. I think it opens up the whole rink and we're going to see a lot more production up and down the building."

Leeder also dismissed critics who suggested the Sens failed to acquire a top six fan experience device.

"Sure, we talked a lot this summer about needing an upgrade on our t-shirt cannons," Leeder said with a sigh.

"But you know what? Sparty's gatling gun stepped up big with a strong camp. Teams don't just give up their top six intermission entertainment, sometimes you have to look internally and we're pleased with the way the gatling gun is performing."

Leeder became particularly feisty as he defended the embattled Robert Borden, who signed a long-term contract extension heading into last season and became a lightning rod for criticism with some spotty performances.

"Did we expect more from Borden? Yes. The guy helped create the Commonwealth, for crying out loud. He had a bad year," Leeder explained. "It happens to everyone. But if Borden can survive the fractious conscription debate, I think he can win his share of prime ministerial skating races, you know? He'll be just fine."

"And hey, we've got a Farm Boy now, why aren't we talking about that?"

After rattling off a list of additional improvements, though, Leeder did admit to having a few opening night nerves.

"As President, you know, all we can do is put the pieces in place and hope our people deliver but there will always be doubt, right up until puck drop," he acknowledged, ponderously.

"We paved a lot of stuff. I mean, a lot. But you always wonder... could we have paved more stuff?"

A small square of space outside Canadian Tire Centre remains unpaved 
after Leeder was unable to secure a higher paving budget

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