The NHL expected the Ottawa Senators to have a new owner by now. Finals bids for the team were submitted back on May 15. After that, many believed the process would close in quick order.
However, that hasn't happened. Senators fans are still waiting with bated breath to learn who will take over their team. On Saturday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman broke his silence on the matter.
“I don’t know that anybody’s out,” Bettman said, via the Ottawa Sun, prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. “I know that they’re trying to move forward as quickly as possible to conclude the process.”
Bettman did express optimism around the process despite how much it's lagged. However, he did say the process is expected to continue for at least another few weeks.
“The bidding was robust, the interest was great, and I’m being advised by GSP that they expect a very good outcome in the next few weeks,” Bettman told reporters on Saturday.
As of now, Toronto billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos is the front-runner for the Senators. Negotiations between the estate of late owner Eugene Melnyk and Apostolopoulos are in the final stages, according to the Ottawa Sun.
Some controversy arose over the bid from Los Angeles producer Neko Sparks. Sparks has enlisted numerous outside parties, including hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg, to help fund this bid. However, Sparks and his group do not have the necessary funding in place, sources told the Ottawa Sun.
The Senators went up for sale after the unfortunate passing of Melnyk in late March 2022. Melnyk brought the Senators back in 2003 for $92 million USD as the team faced uncertainty around their future in Ottawa.