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The NHL’s Ottawa Senators are officially for sale and, believe it or not, they could bring in the biggest transaction in NHL history.
According to Sportico, the Senators have received 9 offers, some of them over $900 million. An unnamed source told them that the pool of prospective owners will be narrowed down, and site visits will happen later this month.
Easily the most notable name on the list of prospective is Ryan Reynolds who is part of a consortium to buy the team with Toronto-based real estate developer The Remington Group. The Canadian-born actor has been outspoken about his desire to own the team in the Great White North’s capital.
It would be his second foray into team ownership after Welsh soccer team Wrexham Association Football Club, which he owns with fellow actor Rob McElhenney.
If the team does sell for more than $900 million, that’ll be the highest price an NHL team has ever sold for. The current record holder is the Pittsburgh Penguins which were sold to Fenway Sports Group in 2021 for $900 million.
Is That Too Much For The Senators?
Interestingly, Sportico reports that they had the franchise valued at around $655 million. That would make them the 27th most valuable of the 32 NHL franchises. Meanwhile, Forbes places their value a bit higher at $800 million. They rank them as the 24th most valuable in the league.
The last time the Senators changed hands was in 2003. That’s when the late Eugene Melnyk bought the team for $92 million.
One of the major things the new owners will need to do is lock up a new arena. Their current arena is the Canadian Tire Centre. It’s quite a distance outside of the city and is often cited as a reason for the Senator’s attendance troubles. The Senators’ average attendance this season is 16,371, which puts them toward the bottom of the league.
Last year, the team signed a memorandum of understanding for a new arena in downtown Ottawa. New ownership will want to make sure that pans out.
The Senators are also the first Canadian team to go up for sale since the Winnipeg Jets did in 2011.
Although, technically, the Atlanta Thrashers were up for sale, purchased, then moved to Winnipeg.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle