Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds confirms interest in buying Ottawa Senators | CBC News

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The rumors are true, Ryan Reynolds wants to buy the Ottawa Senators.

Reynolds was directly asked by Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon if the Canadian movie star was interested in buying the NHL club.

Reynolds was firm in his response Monday night.

“Yes, that’s true,” said Reynolds, who already co-owns Welsh soccer club Wrexham with fellow actor Rob McElhenney.

“I’m trying to do that. It’s very expensive.”

Reynolds added with a smile, “I need a partner with a lot of money.”

Actor Ryan Reynolds gestures to a fan as he is recognized during a break in play as the Ottawa Senators take on the Vancouver Canucks in Ottawa, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. Reynolds confirmed his interest in buying the franchise of the Senators. (Justin Tang/CP)

Forbes magazine valued the Senators at $525 million in December 2021, about four months before former owner Eugene Melnyk died.

Within months of Melnyk’s death, the Senators were once again the preferred partner for a proposed arena project to be built in the LeBreton Flats area of ​​Ottawa, which would likely increase the value of the team.

Senators previously considered moving to LeBreton Flats, but the plan fell through and Melnyk and his business partners sued each other.

Melnyk’s estate has made it clear that the team will only be sold if the buyer agrees to keep the team in Ottawa.

Fans hold signs in response to reports that Reynolds is interested in buying the Ottawa Senators, as the Senators’ Brady Tkachuk warms up before an NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks in Ottawa on Tuesday. (Justin Tang/CP)

The star of the “Deadpool” film series addressed both the expense of buying an NHL team and keeping the team in Canada’s capital in his interview with Fallon.

Reynolds said he would have to be the face of a consortium to buy the Senators, which he said is “a fancy way of saying I need a sugar daddy or mommy.”

Although he is from Vancouver, Reynolds also spoke of his fondness for the National Capital Region.

“I love Ottawa. I grew up in Vancouver, which always has my heart, but I also grew up in Ottawa,” Reynolds said. “I spent a lot of time in Vanier, which is a small town within Ottawa.”

‘The formal process has not yet started’: commissioner

As part of visits to NHL cities, league commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly met with the Winnipeg media ahead of Tuesday’s Jets game against the Dallas Stars. .

Bettman said he was aware of Reynolds’ recent comments.

“He was pretty vocal on last night’s Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that he would be very interested and that he needs a sugar mommy or sugar daddy with a lot of money to help him,” Bettman said with a laugh.

“I think those were his exact words that I’m quoting. Listen, anything that draws the fan base, draws a lot of attention to the franchise and the team is a plus. He’s a very popular and respected person.”

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk died at age 62 this March. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Bettman said his office is keeping abreast of where the senators are at the current stage and when negotiations would begin.

“The process is handled by an investment banking firm that was contracted for that purpose,” Bettman said. “We stay on top of it. Obviously we have to vet people who might be interested when it comes down to it.”

“The formal process hasn’t started yet and it will. One thing that has been made perfectly clear… is that the club has made it perfectly clear that any sale will depend on the club remaining in Ottawa and hopefully moving downtown. from the city, to LeBreton Flats”. .”

Melnyk bought the Senators in 2003 for $92 million at a time when the franchise was facing bankruptcy and a dim future in the nation’s capital.

The daily operations of the team have been handled by the board of directors since Melnyk’s death.

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