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Nashville Predators move to Ontario, Canada is not secured

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said after a board of governors meeting in New York that without a binding agreement talks are premature.

Nashville Predators move to Ontario, Canada is not secured The owner of the Nashville Predaotrs Craig Leipold and Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie have a non binding agreement for the relocation of the team to Hamilton, Ontario. The NHL commissioner Bettman, however, pointed out that the agreement is non-binding and all talks about the move are simply premature. The delay in closing the deal prevented the sale from being up for vote by the league’s 30 teams before the draft in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend.

 “Currently there isn’t a fully completed application before the board of governors,” Bettman said. “As a result, I think people are getting a little bit ahead of themselves on this entire issue. It isn’t in any shape or form close to being ready for consideration as it relates to approval of an ownership change. I’m not exactly sure why people are focused on the Nashville Predators being anywhere other than in Nashville at this particular point in time.” the NHL commissioned added.

 Even if the deal is approved, it will not happen until next year. The agreement between Leipold and Balsillie carried a June 30 deadline for completion, but that could be extended.

 Jim Balsillie offered to Leipold in the $220 million-238 million range, well above Forbes Magazine’s estimated value of $134 million and significantly higher than his bid of $175 million for the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this year. And that is over three times the money paid for the Anaheim Ducks. The Stanley Cup champion was sold for $70 million two years ago.

Published on 06/21/2007

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