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'Very good outcome' for sale of Ottawa Senators expected in the next few weeks, NHL Commissioner says

The Canadian Tire Centre will remain the home of the Ottawa Senators as the club takes the next step in building a new arena at LeBreton Flats. (Dave Charbonneau/CTV News Ottawa) The Canadian Tire Centre will remain the home of the Ottawa Senators as the club takes the next step in building a new arena at LeBreton Flats. (Dave Charbonneau/CTV News Ottawa)

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the process to sell the Ottawa Senators is moving forward as "quickly as possible," and the New York-based company overseeing the sale is advising to "expect a very good outcome in the next few weeks."

Bettman provided an update on the sale of the Senators and Canadian Tire Centre during his media conference before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas.

The Senators announced on November 4 that the club was up for sale. Final bids were due to New York-based Galatioto Sports Partners on May 15, and reports say four groups have submitted bids for the club.

"I don't know that anybody is out. I know that they're trying to move forward as quickly as possible to conclude the process," Bettman said Saturday evening.

"The bidding was robust, the interest was great and I'm being advised by GSP, Galatioto Sports Partners, that they expect a very good outcome in the next few weeks. So, we'll all have to sit back and see."

L.A. entrepreneur Neko Sparks has formed a group to submit a bid, with Snoop Dogg, Olympic gold medallist Donovan Bailey, comedian Russell Peters and several stars from the CBC show Dragons' Den.

Postmedia reported that three of the bids came from Toronto-area businessmen: Michael Andlauer, who owns a minority stake in the Montreal Canadiens; Jeffrey and Michael Kimel, who were formerly involved with the Pittsburgh Penguins and whose bid reportedly includes Canadian singer-songwriter The Weeknd; and Steve Apostolopoulos, who recently submitted an unsuccessful $6-billion bid to own the NFL's Washington Commanders. 

Bettman also addressed the "speculation" about the process and the length of time it is taking to sell the club.

"I think there are probably two reasons for that: One, I think there needs to be a recognition that buying a billion dollar asset isn't the same as buying a new car; it takes a little more due diligence and work to do it," Bettman said.

"I also think most times when a franchise is being sold you don't know about it until it gets to the end; I think Eugene Melnyk's untimely passing sort of began the clock running and I think that's why, at least in some quarters, there seems to be fatigue covering this but there shouldn't be.

"The process, I think, run by Mr. (Sal) Galatioto has been done well and right."

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