There is definitely a new trend this season, and while fans find it brilliant and worth keeping up with, general managers are certainly not on board with the phenomenon that is catching on.
Back in February, fans of the New York Islanders lost patience with the management team running their organization, specifically when it comes to general manager Garth Snow. A group of fans started a Go Fund Me in order to purchase advertising time on a billboard just outside of the Barclays Center, the arena where the Islanders currently play. The ad was designed to call for the termination of the Islanders general manager, and the crowd reaction during the Islanders last home game appears to support the end.
The Isles' fans were heard chanting "Snow must go" during that game and they have put their money where their mouth is, raising the funds for the Go Fund Me campaign in very short order.
The Isles fans inspired the Ottawa Senators fanbase over the weekend, as the same approach was used to get rid of owner Eugene Melnyk. Four billboards with the message MelnykOut went up at four different locations across the city Monday thanks to a GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $10,000 in less than a month. The fund was started by fan Spencer Callaghan, who reached a breaking point with Melnyk after rumours began to swirl that captain Erik Karlsson might get traded.
On the GoFundMe page launched Feb. 23 just before the trade deadline, Callaghan wrote: "Eugene Melnyk has decided that he would rather tear the team down and sell it for spare parts than admit he can no longer run it effectively. Sens fans and the city of Ottawa need to step up to save a pillar of this community."
He wanted to be heard, and now surely has.
"One of the big things I was trying to do was get some attention for the fans message," said Callaghan on Monday afternoon.
The domino effect keeps going as now fans from another NHL club are using the same strategy to get their general manager fired.
A Montreal Canadiens fan, who lives in Edmonton, also started a fundraising campaign on the GoFundMe website back on February 15 to pay for a billboard advertising for the dismissal of Marc Bergevin on the streets of Montreal. The announcement notes that advertising would be displayed in high traffic areas in Montreal.
However, this campaign did not achieve the same success as in Ottawa and New York, since in just over a month no donations were made. The goal of the campaign is to raise $ 2,400. You can see the GoFund me Page here.
Ivan Belzevick, who started the page, cried out to Habs fans to help him with his objective.
"Montreal Canadiens fans have had enough! With the team having a disastrous year, Habs fans have been vocal about the lack of change Marc Bergevin has made with the team. The majority of fans want a fresh General Manager at the helm, but Geoff Molson doesn't seem to listen.
This gofundme will go towards buying advertisments in high traffic areas around Montreal, sending a message to ownership that Habs fans won't tolerate the current losing culture of the team. Things need to change."
What do you think? Head on to the page if you want to help him out.