SBD/Issue 82/Franchises

The Best A Man Can Get? Gillett Rumored To Be Bidder On Habs

CO-based Booth Creek Ski Holdings Chair George Gillett "has surfaced as one of the bidders" for the Canadiens and Molson Centre, according to Blair & Houston of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, who write that Gillett "has looked into purchasing" the team and arena from Molson Breweries, and has "shown interest in" the NHL Panthers. But Gillett spokesperson Pat Peeples said, "Mr. Gillett's business is a private, family business and he doesn't comment on his business dealings" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/18). The CP adds Molson "vehemently denied reports [yesterday] that an unidentified American group signed a letter of intent to purchase" the Canadiens and the arena. Molson spokesperson John Paul Macdonald called the report "just pure speculation" and added, "There won't be anything to announce for the next few days. Discussions are continuing" (CP, 1/18). Meanwhile, in Toronto, Lance Hornby cites an NHL source as saying that Capitals/Lincoln Holdings partner Jonathan Ledecky "definitely is not purchasing the team after backing out before Christmas" (TORONTO SUN, 1/18). In Montreal, Jack Todd writes that "one bit of media speculation yesterday mentioned" Rupert Murdoch as a potential suitor for the team/arena (GAZETTE, 1/18).

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