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Deadline passes for first round of bids for Sens

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The bidding process for the Ottawa Senators is set to officially begin.

NHL sources confirmed to Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia that the deadline set by New York-based banker Galatioto Sports Partners (GSP) for the NHL team's first round of bids was on Monday and the league is expecting a “number of strong bids.”

According to Garrioch, more than 15 groups were given access to view the Senators' financials, as well as the memorandum of understanding with the National Capital Commission to build a new rink at LeBreton Flats just west of downtown along the Ottawa River.

Garrioch adds that the bidders reportedly include Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds with The Remington Group led by Markham-based developer Christopher Bratty, Montreal Canadiens minority owner Michael Andlauer's group (which includes Windsor-based developer Rocco Tullio, and Burlington-based Paul and Michael Paletta), Toronto billionaires Jeffrey and Michael Kimel, as well as owners of the Harlo Financial Group.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has stated publicly that he’d like to see Reynolds, who has kept in close touch with the league office, involved with whoever purchases the club from the Melnyk family. Bettman noted following December’s NHL board of governors meetings in Florida that Reynolds can help raise the league’s profile on the world stage and he has more than 100 million followers on social media.

The team announced on last November – eight months after the passing of owner Eugene Melnyk – that it was officially up for sale and that any new ownership would not be allowed to move the franchise out of the city. 

Los Angeles-based magazine Sportico valued the Senators at $655 million last October, while NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly estimated last month the sale price will be more than $800 million and could eclipse $1 billion.