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Report: More than 20 groups express interest in Sens

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The Ottawa Senators appear to be a hot commodity.

According to Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia, more than 20 groups have reached out to sports banker Galatioto Sports or the National Hockey League’s head office with an interest in buying the franchise.

“The real estate component makes it an attractive option,” a league source told Garrioch in the Ottawa Sun. “If this was just a team in Kanata, I don’t think there’d be this much interest.”

According to Postmedia, interested groups include André Desmarais of Power Corp, Hamilton billionaire and Montreal Canadiens minority owner Michael Andlauer, developer Rocco Tullio, Paul and Michael Paletta of Alinea Group Holdings, Farm Boy chief executive officer Jeff York, Toronto Star co-owner Paul Rivett and Neil Malhotra of Ottawa-based Claridge Homes. Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds has also publicly expressed interest in the team as a minority owner.

Garrioch adds that NHL executives say they would like to have an idea who is the frontrunner to buy the Senators by mid-January.

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk passed away on March 28 at the age of 62. The team announced on Nov. 4 it was officially up for sale and that any new ownership would not be allowed to move the team out of the city. 

Los Angeles-based magazine Sportico valued the Senators at $655 million in October. The value of the franchise is reportedly set to rise with the Senators’ winning preferred bidder status to build a new rink at LeBreton Flats.