GARRIOCH: Gary Bettman confirms potential patrons of the Senators will enter bids quickly


The Ottawa Senators are a scorching commodity and the sale of the franchise is inching nearer to the end line.

Gary Bettman informed reporters attending the NHL all-star festivities in Dawn, Fla., on Saturday that greater than 15 teams have expressed an curiosity in buying the Senators and have accomplished their due-diligence on the membership’s financials within the information room.

As Postmedia reported Friday, the NHL commissioner confirmed the deadline for the primary spherical of bids for the franchise is approaching “within the subsequent few weeks” after which a lower shall be made to the intense contenders by New York-based sports activities banker Galatioto Sports activities Companions (GSP).

As soon as that course of is accomplished, the expectation is the sale shall be turned over to the NHL to finish the settlement whereas extra vetting takes place. As this newspaper reported first, the information room opened two weeks in the past and it sounds just like the homework has been accomplished by potential patrons.

“There are 15 or extra individuals, or teams of individuals, who’ve filed purposes and the information room was open,” Bettman mentioned earlier than the all-star sport at FLA Reside Area. “And my guess is in some unspecified time in the future within the subsequent few weeks or so there shall be a preliminary lower (within the teams) based mostly on preliminary bids.”

Later within the day, Bettman informed

Hockey Night time in Canada

the checklist shall be “culled right down to a smaller quantity” however didn’t say what that may be.

The Melnyk household introduced in November that it had put the membership up on the market after the premature demise of proprietor Eugene Melnyk on March 28, 2022. His daughters, Anna and Olivia Melnyk, made it clear within the announcement {that a} stipulation of the sale is that it should stay in Ottawa.

Sources say the Melnyk household hopes to have the sale of the franchise wrapped up by the spring. Olivia met with the workers and gamers following the membership’s win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Jan. 18 at residence to thank them for his or her efforts earlier than she left to spend the Queen’s College college time period in Australia.

The late Eugene Melnyk bought the Senators out of chapter in 2003. He was the one social gathering that needed to maintain the group in Ottawa.

Bettman reiterated Saturday that retaining the group within the metropolis shall be situation of the sale and all of the events know that’s the case going into this race.

“I wish to be very clear, whoever buys the membership is doing so to maintain it in Ottawa. I say that so there isn’t any hypothesis on the purpose,” mentioned Bettman.

He added later: “That is about a purchase order of the Senators to maintain them in Ottawa. They’re not going wherever.”

This newspaper has reported the Melnyk household wish to maintain a legacy portion of the group — probably as a lot as up as 10% — as soon as the sale is accomplished. That shall be as much as the brand new proprietor and the hope is we’ll now by early March who that’s going to be.

No, Bettman can’t pressure the brand new proprietor to signal a lease settlement with the Nationwide Capital Fee for a brand new area at LeBreton Flats, however he has made it clear to any potential purchasers that the NHL desires the Senators to maneuver downtown.

Bettman famous the popular bidder standing for a brand new rink at LeBreton Flats makes a purchase order much more enticing. Tobi Nussbaum, the CEO of the NCC, mentioned final month that talks with the membership’s administration on a lease proceed and he expects it to get accomplished with the brand new proprietor.

“(There’s) possibly a higher alternative to convey the group downtown to LeBreton Flats, which I believe makes this an much more thrilling alternative to personal a group within the nation’s capital,” Bettman mentioned.

The quantity of curiosity within the franchise and the prospect to construct a brand new area will solely drive up the sale worth of the group. The Pittsburgh Penguins offered to Fenway Sports activities Group in November 2021 for practically $900 million (all figures U.S.).

Sources have estimated the sale worth of the Senators could possibly be between $800 million-$1 billion by the point the sale is accomplished and all of the paperwork is signed.

The teams concerned have signed a non-disclosure settlement and may’t remark publicly on the place the method or they’ll face expulsion from being a bidder by the league. This isn’t only a hockey deal, that is additionally an actual property alternative on a precious piece of land.

Postmedia has been steadfast in reporting Hamilton businessman Michael Andlauer and Toronto billionaires Jeffrey and Michael Kimel stay the frontrunners to purchase the group. Each have held talks with Vancouver-born actor Ryan Reynolds, who is predicted to play a key position when the mud settles.

[email protected]

Copyright Postmedia Community Inc., 2023