‘LET’S DO IT’: Senators NHL franchise bid started with beers after a pickup game

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“Cyril, who’s a little more of a cautious individual and a charted accountant, was like: ‘Hold it a minute, how much is it going to cost?’

“I said: ‘I don’t know,’ but our guess was it would be $35 million for an expansion fee and Cyril wondered how we were going to pay for it? I said I had a plan to buy 600 acres of land. We’d probably need 100 acres for the rink and the parking lot, and then the land around the rink would go up in value.

“We’d sell that off and, hopefully, make $35 million to give to the NHL.”

Neither Leeder nor Sexton doubted Firestone’s vision one bit, and they were enthusiastic to get started to work on it.

“We were ahead of the expansion plan, but Bruce thought we should get out in front of it,” Leeder said. “He said they expand every so often and wouldn’t it be great if Ottawa got a team? He said: ‘Why don’t we be the guys that chase it down and go after the bid?’”

Sexton was thrilled with the thought of bringing the Senators back for the first time since they had moved to St. Louis in 1934 after winning nine Stanley Cups.

Before the Senators’ first game at what was then called the Palladium, it was time to celebrate for, left to right, Randy Sexton, Cyril Leeder and Bruce Firestone. Photo…

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