Senators owner Eugene Melnyk stable after liver transplant

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk was recovering Tuesday night after undergoing a liver transplant with an organ provided by an anonymous donor, the team announced.

Melnyk, 55, and the donor were in stable condition at Toronto General Hospital, where the eight-hour transplant was completed earlier in the day.

Melnyk was hospitalized three weeks ago because of liver-related complications, and his condition was considered critical.

He said in a statement Monday that friends and family persuaded him to go public in his appeal for a transplant after numerous potential live-liver donors were not a match.

More than 500 people had offered to donate part of their liver to Melnyk, and a dozen-plus candidates had been selected to go through the donor screening process, according to the team.

"I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the public and the media. It is truly heartwarming to feel loved by so many people,'' Melnyk said in his statement Monday, in which he also thanked medical staff at the University Health Network and Toronto General Hospital.

"Words cannot even begin to express how thankful my family and I are for your expressions of support, your prayers, and your unconditional desire to help me in the biggest battle of my life."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.