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.
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
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