NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the media before game one of the Stanley Cup Final, which will take place – starting tonight – between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks.
One of the things he addressed was the potential sale of the Penguins themselves.
Per Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Bettman confirmed that it is ‘his understanding’ that the sale of the Penguins isn’t something urgent. The commissioner said that there is ‘no process in place’, as of right now, for such a team sale to be made.
Rumors that the Penguins would be changing hands soon date back as far as last offseason, when news first broke that team owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle are looking to find a buyer for the NHL club. The potential sale has been in and out of the news ever since, with rumors of a potential botched sale surfacing during the middle of the 2015-16 campaign.
There’s a chance that a sale is still imminent, as Bettman didn’t deny the reality of the team changing hands – he just suggested that the ownership shift isn’t considered urgent. That’s hardly a surprise; even dating back as far as the sale questions in January, both Burkle and Lemieux confirmed that the duo are still exploring all options, which includes a potential sale of the franchise to a new buyer.
As of the last reports, it seems that the Penguins have an estimated valuation near $750 million, which is high for a potential sale of an American NHL franchise.