SBD/August 18, 2011/Franchises

Former Lightning Co-Owner Oren Koules Wants Back In The NHL

Koules says it's a buyer's market with Coyotes, Blue and Stars available

Former Lightning co-Owner Oren Koules confirmed that "he’s had discussions with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman about returning to the League as an owner,” according to Greg Wyshynski of YAHOO SPORTS. Koules said Bettman has put him “in touch with a couple of people.” His renewed interest "comes at a time when several NHL teams are for sale," including the Coyotes, Blues and Stars. Other franchises, notably the Devils, "are also looking for people to buy into current ownership groups." Koules: “It’s a buyer’s market but you gotta make sure what you’re getting. It’s the usual suspects. I’d like to flash forward a year to see what happens with the new CBA.” Wyshynski noted for Koules, "there’s both a passion to get back in the game and a desire to rewrite his legacy in the NHL.” There was "every reason to believe he had the chance to be hockey’s answer to Mark Cuban: Someone from outside the ‘old boys club’ that could inject some new vibrancy into the League’s leadership.” But that success “didn’t transfer over to his stint" in the NHL from '08-10. Koules said, “I had two problems. I had a partner that went bananas and the second problem is that the economy kicked us in the balls. We went from 38 million in tickets to 17 million" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/17).

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