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From The Ice

Gary Bettman insists no urgency in selling the Penguins

26 May 2016: Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87), left wing Chris Kunitz (14) and Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) hold the Prince of Wales Trophy. The Pittsburgh Penguins won Game Seven 2-1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Penguins won the best-of-seven series 4-3 and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)
Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire

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.

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