#MelnykOut campaign doubles fundraising goal in days

A frustrated Ottawa Senators fan has started a fundraising campaign to put pressure on the NHL team's owner, Eugene Melnyk, to sell.

Within 24 hours, campaign reached its initial goal of $5,000

Spencer Callaghan created a fundraising campaign Friday to raise money for a billboard saying Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has to go. (Kristy Nease/CBC)

A frustrated Ottawa Senators fan has started a fundraising campaign to put pressure on the NHL team's owner, Eugene Melnyk, to sell.

Spencer Callaghan wants to use the money to rent a billboard saying "#MelnykOut."

"The team is just suffering from some form of organizational malaise," Callaghan said in an interview with CBC's Ottawa Morning on Monday.

His goal is to start a conversation about how the organization is being run, and to give the community a voice.

"If we have something we want to say, we have to say it outside of [the Canadian Tire Centre]," he said.

Callaghan started the campaign Friday evening, and it reached its $5,000 goal within 24 hours.

As of mid Monday morning the campaign had nearly doubled its original goal, with just less than $9,000 raised.

Trade rumours

​The Melnyk out hashtag first started gaining traction following the outdoor winter classic in December.

Prior to the game, Melynk suggested fans weren't showing enough support to the team, and even went so far as to say the team might relocate.

But rumours that team captain Erik Karlsson would be traded before Monday's deadline is what broke the camel's back for Callaghan.

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is the target of a fundraising campaign started by a frustrated fan to convince him to sell the NHL franchise. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

"[Karlsson] is easily the best player this team has ever had," Callaghan said, adding that he drives positivity and goodwill for the Ottawa community.

"It would mean that this team has decided that balancing the books in the short term ... is more important than putting in the time and effort to actually make a successful franchise."

With the extra money raised, Callaghan said he is looking into additional options, such as taking out ads in local newspapers.

If Melnyk does end up selling the franchise, Callaghan said he thinks the team will stay in Ottawa, given that the NHL has the final say about relocation.