Senators Sports & Entertainment say process is underway to sell NHL team

Senators Sports & Entertainment say process is underway to sell NHL team

Home rink of the Ottawa Senators the "Canadian Tire Centre" is pictured in Ottawa on March 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Galatioto Sports Partners, a firm specializing in the sports finance and advisory business, has been retained as its financial adviser.

The team said in a press release that “a condition of any sale will be that the team remains in Ottawa.”

The team's day-to-day operations have been handled by the board of directors since Melnyk's death.

Speculation about interested buyers swirled Friday, including a report from People magazine, citing an unnamed source, that said Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds is interested in adding the team to his business portfolio.

A representative for Reynolds did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The “Deadpool” star and fellow actor Rob McElhenney recently purchased Welsh soccer club Wrexham AFC.

The owner's comments before a 2017 outdoor game in Ottawa, indicating he could move the team in the future if attendance didn't increase, sparked a “#MelnykOut” campaign on city billboards and social media.

Ottawa is off to a 4-6-0 start this season despite boasting a talented young core and making significant off-season moves, including the addition of forwards Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat.

The team has played at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata, about 25 kilometres away from Ottawa's downtown core, since the arena opened in 1996.

The team had previously looked at moving to the area, but the plan fell apart with Melnyk and his business partners suing each other.