When the Ottawa Senators are sold, the final price is expected to set an NHL record.
The Senators were anticipated to fetch around $800 million when they hit the market in November, but sources told Front Office Sports that bidding so far has already eclipsed that mark — and could even hit $1 billion.
More than a dozen groups have shown serious interest in the team, although one source said that list is down to around six groups. The Remington Group — which includes Canadian actor and Wrexham AFC co-owner Ryan Reynolds — is among the finalists.
The Ottawa Sun was the first outlet to report over the weekend that the final bid deadline was set for May 15, giving the groups time to sweeten and solidify their proposals.
The current top sale price for an NHL franchise is the $900 million Fenway Sports Group paid for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2021. Former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s $880 million purchase of the Nashville Predators is expected to be approved by the league’s owners next month.
Eugene Melnyk purchased the Sens for $92 million in 2003. After he died in March 2022 at 62, his estate tapped New York-based sports investment firm Galatioto Sports Partners to handle the sale.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told bidders not to expect public money — either from Ontario or Ottawa — to build a new arena in downtown Ottawa, a source told FOS. Bettman also told the prospective owners the Sens would not be allowed to relocate.