There are no more words to describe what the heck is going on with the Ottawa Senators. Scandal, cyberbullying, trades to secure the integrity of the dressing room, sexual harassment charges targeting the assistant general manager... When will the madness end, you ask.
It might be coming to an end with this breaking news report.
According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the Senators have received an offer for the franchise. "Speaking on the basis on anonymity, a well-placed source with direct knowledge of the situation has confirmed to TFP that Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has engaged in negotiations to sell the franchise. According to the league-source, Melnyk has received one offer for the organization and that “offer had been considered.”
This is a major twist in development as, while Melnyk did hint at the possibility of selling the franchise in the past, no recent report showed him actively looking for a deal.
Pagnotta notes that NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly replied to the breaking news report, stating that he doesn’t “equate an offer to purchase the Sens (and reporting that offer to the board) with an intention or desire to sell the team. The two are very different in my mind.”
While no one has confirmed who is the party behind the offer presented to Melnyk, Pagnotta believes that Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberte, who has a net worth of $1.37 billion could be behind the latest offer. Laliberte has expressed interest in the Senators in the past and is believed to have played a role in the Senators securing their latest $135M loan. During last week’s Board of Governors meeting in Las Vegas, while not officially on the agenda, league owners discussed the $135 million refinancing loan the Senators announced they finalized on Wednesday.
Now, the offer is believed to have been rejected, but word is negotiations are ongoing and Melynk is exploring options. Pagnotta believes that the offer was rejected seeing that the asking price for the Senators and the Canadian Tire Centre is hovering around $650 million to $700 million and the offer did not match that.
According to Forbes, per their team valuations in Nov. 2017, the Senators are valued at $420 million.
There will be more to this story; we will keep you posted!