Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/23/07 at 08:26 PM ET
via Darren Dreger at TSN,
Jim Balsillie is at it again.
After a failed bid to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins, sources tell TSN the co-chief and executive officer of Research In Motion is negotiating to purchase the Nashville Predators.
added 7:29pm, from Nashville Post.com,
The Nashville Predators are being sold.
NashvillePost.com has learned that Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Research In Motion (makers of the Blackberry electronic communication device) is purchasing the Predators from Wisconsin businessman Craig Leipold. Leipold has owned the club since it first took to the ice in 1998.
According to NashvillePost.com sources, a press conference has been scheduled for tomorrow to announce the sale of the team. At the time of publication of this article, officials from Predators could not be reached for comment.
added 7:50pm, from WTVF,
NewsChannel 5 learned that team owner Craig Leipold has reached an agreement with BlackBerry owner Jim Balsillie to sell the team as soon as paperwork can be completed.
Leipold met with the NHL Board of Governors at 2 p.m. Wednesday in New York, and then told his staff of the developments.
Leipold told the Predators’ front office personnel that the team will remain in Nashville for at least the next season, but made no promised for the future.
added 8:05pm, via the Tennessean,
Nashville Predators owner Craig Leopold has signed a letter of intent to sell the team to an out-of-town buyer, and an announcement in imminent, possibly by the end of the week, according to a source familiar with the deal.
The source said the deal has been in the works for weeks, but the letter of intent does not mean the deal has been finaliaized.
added 8:27pm, via Bloomberg,
Research In Motion Ltd. Co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Balsillie is close to buying the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators for $220 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said.
added 10:58pm, from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
This was always going to be a make-or-break season for NHL hockey in Nashville — one of those expansion sites from the time when the NHL was aggressively trying to expand its footprint and to peddle as many franchises as possible. After a very good regular season, and the high-risk trade for Peter Forsberg, the Predators entered the playoffs knowing a long postseason run might finally inspire the support of fans and local business community.
Failure would probably end the great hockey experiment in Music City USA.
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