Senators News & Rumors: Bid Deadline, Reynolds, Kleven, Brown

It has been a busy week for news with the Ottawa Senators. Ownership is the biggest story to come out, and while it is worth paying close attention to, you can’t take your eyes off the rest of the team. Ryan Reynolds and the Remington Group have taken a step back, final bids are due today (May 15) and a pair of Senators are set to join Team USA at the IIHF World Championship.

Reynolds, Remington Back Out Of $1 Billion Bid

Just two weeks after announcing that Reynolds and the Remington Group will be pitching a $1 billion bid to purchase the Ottawa Senators, it was reported by ESPN’s Emily Kaplan that the actors bid for the Senators will not be moving forward.

This came as a very disappointing set of news for the fanbase, as they have been on the Ryan Reynolds hype-train since he expressed his interest in the team in November. Of course, there are plenty of other exciting names still in the race to purchase the team, including Snoop Dogg, The Weeknd, and more.

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Kaplan reported that Reynolds and the Remington Group wanted an exclusive window to get the deal closed, while Bruce Garrioch reported that it had to do with the potential arena. Regardless of the exclusivity they were looking for, it was not approved and that is what frustrated Reynolds and led to them backing out. There is always a chance that Reynolds hops in with another group, and it has been reported that Neko Sparks’ group would accept him with open arms, but I think Reynolds wants to be more than just a tag-along with a group. It will be interesting to see how that develops.

Notably, this is the second time the Remington Group has backed out of a NHL team sale last-minute. In 2013, it expressed great interest in purchasing the Arizona Coyotes, but then backed out due to the lack of real estate potential. It is clear that the Remington Group, a Southern Ontario real estate company, highly values the potential of development, as well as redevelopment when it comes to purchasing the Senators, looking at both the new arena, as well as the 75-acre plot of land in Kanata that the Canadian Tire Center sits on.

Final Day For Bidding on the Senators

Related to the backing-out of Reynolds and the Remington Group, May 15 marks the final day that Galatioto Sports Partners (GSP) will be accepting bids for the team. The process of accepting a bid could take as soon as three days, or up to or exceeding a month. I am sure it will be a relatively quick turnaround to accept a bid, as we are already into the Senators offseason, and they would like to have this resolved as soon as possible. From what is publicly out there, there are as follows:

Michael Andlauer’s Group

Michael Andlauer is quite the entrepreneur that is already invested in the hockey market, owning a portion of the Montreal Canadiens, the Hamilton Bulldogs, as well as Andlauer Healthcare Group. While there hasn’t been much about this group in the media, it is believed that Jeff York is tied to the Andlauer group, though there have been rumors that he is still yet to commit to a group. Jeff, who is brother of former Senator, Jason York, is a minority owner in Farm Boy and holds a Special Advisor position with Sobeys.

Related: Senators: 3 Depth Free-Agent Forwards to Target This Offseason

There have been rumors of other high-valued local investors being involved in the team too, however none of these have been publicly confirmed or leaked, and it is better to not speculated at this point.

Anna and Olivia Melnyk Ottawa Senators
Former Ottawa Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk’s daughters, Anna and Olivia Melnyk (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

It is worth noting that Andlauer is not only part of the NHL and other hockey league ownership groups, but he is also on the NHL’s Board of Governors and that may have some sway in GSP, the Melnyk sisters and the NHL’s acceptance of the bid.

Neko Sparks’ Group

Neko Sparks owns a technology firm and a media production company, and is looking to become the first Black majority owner in the league. Sparks is building quite a promising team, including the recent addition of Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus Jr. Snoop Dogg expressed his interest in not only being a part of the Senators’ ownership group, but growing the game of hockey into a more accepting and accessible sport.

The group has also just been joined by First Nation groups, who will be getting approximately 10 percent of the team if the Sparks group is the future ownership group. This is a huge step in the right direction for the team. It shouldn’t go unnoticed that a large majority of this ownership group is either Black, or now part of the First Nation group joining in. Adding diversity into the league doesn’t get you the winning bid on it’s own, but having it as part of the ownership group will be great for the city and team.

There are plenty of others linked to the Sparks group, including Trevor Daley, Grant Fuhr, Mattias Nordstrom and there are rumors of Daniel Alfredsson having involvement. This is quite the lineup for the big purchase of the team.

Kimel Brothers’ Group

Michael and Jeffrey Kimel are two of the top guns in the Harlo Capital real estate organization. The Toronto-based group has had their eyes set on the Senators since the team went up for sale. With everything from condos, rentals, industrial and redeveloping land, the Harlo Capital is a busy group. I would imagine their plan would be similar to the Ramington Group’s plan in purchasing the rights to build in LeBreton Flats, then redevelop the plot in Kanata, though that has not been confirmed.

The Weeknd
The Weeknd (NRK P3 / Flickr)

They are also joined by Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, and while he is one of the newest celebrities to hop into the Senators bidding war, he has been linked to join since Reynolds announced himself being involved in November. (from ‘EXCLUSIVE: THE OTTAWA SENATRS? The Weeknd latest superstar to join bid for the Ottawa Senators’, Ottawa Sun, May 6, 2023) Tesfaye hasn’t publicly talked about joining the group, but multiple sources linked to Tesfaye, as well as the Kimel family, have given the Ottawa Sun some intel.

Kleven and Brown Join IIHF World Championship Roster

Tyler Kleven is a bit late to the party, but he has officially been added to the IIHF World Championship American roster. His impact as a Senator in the dying weeks of the season were quite impressive. It was initially thought that he may just get his feet wet in the NHL and spend the last bit in the American Hockey League (AHL), but he quickly proved himself worthy of a spot, and may contend for an opening-night roster spot next season. Playing some quality hockey after the season will be beneficial for his development.

Tyler Kleven Ottawa Senators
Tyler Kleven, Ottawa Senators (Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Americans, who have started the tournament 3-0, are poised for a deep run yet again. Kleven will be joining fellow NHL-experienced defensemen such as Nick Perbix, Connor Mackey, Henry Thurn, Dylan Samberg, Scott Perunovich and star prospect Lane Hutson. Kleven may jump in and be one of the top players immediately, and alongside a player like Hutson, he could thrive.

It will be interesting to play close attention to Kleven at this tournament, and with a big summer ahead of him with training and developing, expect him to come into training camp as ready as ever.

Patrick Brown, who also joined the Senators late in the year with a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers, was announced to be joining the team, too. Brown will give the Americans another strong depth option, and after a solid stint, he may also be on display for a bigger role with the Senators in the fall.

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