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Report: NHL tells bidders it wants Reynolds as Senators minority owner

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The NHL wants to ensure Ryan Reynolds is involved in the Ottawa Senators' new ownership group regardless of who ultimately wins the bidding.

Commissioner Gary Bettman and his deputy Bill Daly are making interested parties aware the league wants the actor to be a minority partner, Postmedia's Bruce Garrioch reports. The NHL has told every group that signed a non-disclosure agreement before entering the process to contact Reynolds, Garrioch adds.

The NHL apparently envisions Reynolds documenting the sale of the club with his production company Maximum Effort, and league marketing executives admit they can't buy the kind of publicity he can generate.

Reynolds has reportedly spent the last three weeks talking to prospective bidders to gauge their interest in his involvement. During an early November appearance on "The Tonight Show," the 46-year-old confirmed he was exploring buying the team but quipped he'd "need a partner with really deep pockets."

One night later, he attended Ottawa's home game against the Vancouver Canucks at Canadian Tire Centre, and the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

The Vancouver-born "Deadpool" star's net worth is $150 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Sportico valued the Senators at $655 million when it broke the news of the sale Nov. 1. The transaction will be contingent upon keeping the team in Ottawa.

Reynolds, whose films have amassed more than $5 billion at the box office, briefly lived in Ottawa during his childhood. He co-owns Welsh football club Wrexham AFC with fellow actor Rob McElhenney. That franchise is the subject of an FX docuseries called "Welcome to Wrexham."

Anna and Olivia Melnyk took over as the Senators' owners after their father - longtime team owner Eugene - died in March.

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