A lot has been made recently of the working relationship between Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, co-owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I wouldn’t describe it as a black cloud, but for people around the team I am sure they would like to move on from this saga.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review gave us insight to a few reasons why the Penguins haven’t been sold yet:
• Proposed NHL expansion.
• The Carolina Hurricanes also being on the market.
• Changing politics in Washington and Ottawa.
• The plunging value of the Canadian dollar.
The rumor for a while is that the Penguins are looking to sell the franchise for $750 million. That number may go up or may go down with the possibility of expansion and the $500 million price tag surrounding those teams as it makes negotiations all the more difficult.
The article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review also mentions the fact that Don Waddell is the president of the Hurricanes and Waddell was the president of the Atlanta Thrashers when they were sold. This fact makes the team a bit of a wild card option and makes the process of selling that much more interesting. Do the Hurricanes need to find a new owner before the Penguins find one?
I think out of the entire bunch, the plunging Canadian dollar is the biggest hurdle to get over. While it looks like it is going to plateau, the uncertainty still is leaving many owners feeling queasy. A sale will probably be held up until the dollar rebounds.
Will time heal all wounds between Burkle and Lemieux? If you are a Pittsburgh fan, you’ve got to hope so.