The Ottawa Senators are already generating a fair bit of buzz on the open market: More than 20 potential buyers have expressed interest in purchasing the franchise, sources told Postmedia's Bruce Garrioch.
The organization announced it had initiated the process for the sale of the team earlier in November. The team must remain in Ottawa as a condition of the sale. The Senators retained New York-based investment bank Galatioto Sports Partners as a financial adviser.
Among those who have reportedly approached the NHL's head office or Galatioto Sports Partners are billionaire Michael Andlauer and Rocco Tullio, who own the OHL's Hamilton Bulldogs and Oshawa Generals, respectively.
Farmboy CEO Jeff York and Paul Rivett, a co-owner of the Toronto Star, are also apparently trying to form investment groups.
The flashiest name in the mix for the Senators is Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, who already co-owns Welsh football club Wrexham AFC with fellow actor Rob McElhenney.
Reynolds recently confirmed his interest during an appearance on "The Tonight Show" in which he also said he would need a partner with "really deep pockets" to pull off a deal.
The Senators are currently owned by Anna and Olivia Melnyk. They inherited the franchise from their father, Eugene, who died in March.
Anna and Olivia are reportedly "thrilled" by the interest the franchise has garnered so far, per Garrioch.
The Senators signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Capital Commission and other investors in June for a new downtown Ottawa arena at LeBreton Flats, but there are still several obstacles to an official agreement for a new rink. Such a deal would increase the value of the franchise, which Sportico recently calculated at $655 million.