Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal (Monday, June 22nd edition),
An agreement to sell the majority ownership of the Montreal Canadiens and the Bell Centre for between $506 million and $537 million (U.S.) could be announced as early as this weekend, according to financial and other sources familiar with the bidding process. It’s also possible that owner George Gillett will decide to sell only a minority share of the team and its arena, one of those sources said.
Gillett owns 80 percent of the Canadiens. Molson, which owns the remaining 20 percent, would retain its stake after a sale by Gillett.
Any decision this week would come as Montreal prepares to host the NHL draft on Friday and Saturday. The league’s board of governors is meeting in Montreal in advance of the draft, as well.
continued (hopefully the link stays live, I normally don’t see SBJ making links available so early)...
Jean Beliveau receiving the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award.
I have been a strong believer the NHL needs to honor the great players of the past and involve these types of players in any way possible.
from Sean Gordon and Andrew Willis of the Globe and Mail,
Talks surrounding an eventual sale of the Montreal Canadiens are building to a final crescendo: As of the close of business yesterday, all formal offers were to be lodged with the investment bank steering the bidding process…
Financial sources told The Globe and Mail that each of the three known bidders has already secured at least $200-million in bank financing to help push a deal through.
According those familiar with the process, Péladeau’s group is expected to make the richest opening bid, in excess of $420-million.
But sources suggest a Molson family bid – which is believed to be supported by telecom behemoth BCE Inc. – could carry the day, even if it is closer to $400-million, given the family’s long-standing NHL ties and the fact Molson Coors already owns 19.9 per cent of the team.
from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,
Le Journal de Montréal reports today that interested groups – and it says there are six – have until the end of the day today to table their offers to buy the Canadiens and the Bell Centre.
The paper says that three American groups are interested in purchasing the club, along with three Canadian groups, the latter including Québecor, Molson family members, and a third Quebec group whose participants the story does not identify.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Jacques Martin is everything the Montreal Canadiens are not—and never have been.
They are blue, blanc et rouge. He is vanilla.
They are the home of firewagon hockey. He is the neutral-zone trap.
They are emotion and excitement and everything that encompasses the city of Montreal. He represents the yawn of a new era.
They are known for success. He is a epitome of the first-round playoff elimination.
They are the kings of the off-day press conference. He is equally dull in both of Canada’s official languages.
added 11:44am, from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Martin, 56, just completed his third season as Florida’s general manager. He coached the team for three seasons before being relieved of that duty last summer. Martin was
asked to stay on as general manager by owner Alan Cohen and Martin agreed, signing a four-year contract.
What sort of compensation the Canadiens would give to the Panthers isn’t clear, and it is not known if Martin would personally have to buy out his own contract to leave.
more on Martin
The Montreal Canadiens will hold a news conference this afternoon at 2pm et when the club will introduce Jacques Martin as their new head coach.
note: original post was 8:56am today…
Sportsnet has learned Jacques Martin has been negotiating a potential buy-out with the Florida Panthers and that the Montreal Canadiens are very interested in hiring him as their next head coach.
Sources say Martin has multiple years left on his contract, but is willing to leave some money on the table to take the Canadiens job.
from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,
In Toronto for the combine camp featuring draft-eligible players, Gainey said he’ll have nothing major to announce in the short term, either regarding player signings or any announcement of a new head coach.
Gainey added that he’s been in contact with his stable of unrestricted free agents, but hasn’t had concrete talks with anyone, aware that new ownership might want to move “in a different direction.”
a bit more...
from Kevin Mio of Habs Inside/Out,
RDS has interviewed Guy Lafleur, again, and this time, the Habs legend let it be known he thinks the time has come for Saku Koivu to leave the Canadiens family.
Lafleur said it’s time for the Canadiens captain to go play with his brother in Minnesota. He also said that when Réjean Houle was the team’s general manager, he suggested to Houle that he should get rid of Koivu.
And he didn’t stop there. Lafleur, who never minces his words, also weighed in on the rumours that Alex Kovalev had been offered a new contract and the captaincy.
A Russian sports newspaper reports that the Montreal Canadiens have offered the team’s captaincy to pending unrestricted free agent Alex Kovalev and that Saku Koivu is no longer in plans for the team.
According to Sovietsky Sport, the Canadiens don’t intend to re-sign Koivu and would opt to re-sign Kovalev to a one-year deal worth between $6 million and $7.5 million. The story also claims that Kovalev would be awarded the captaincy.
via Frederic Tomesco of Bloomberg,
Quebec’s Molson family will consider bidding for the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League to regain control of the 24-time Stanley Cup winners.
Geoffrey Molson, a 38-year-old director of the Canadiens and Molson Coors Brewing Co., is leading the investor group, the family said today in a CNW Telbec release. Brothers Andrew and Justin Molson are also involved in a potential bid, the statement said.
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