Despite being seen as a front-runner to buy the Ottawa Senators, Ryan Reynolds is reportedly dropping his bid ahead of the May 15 submission deadline. Reynolds had partnered with real estate mogul Chris Batty to prepare a bid reportedly worth $1 billion. His bid was one of seven reportedly in the race to buy the Senators after the death of long-time owner Eugene Melnyk last year. Melnyk had owned the team since 2000.
Other offers include a Hollywood bid from Neko Sparks, The Rock, and Snoop Dogg. The Weeknd is also part of an ownership group led by the Kimel Family. The NHL had been hoping to conclude the search for a new owner by the start of the 2023/24 NHL season. The Senators have not made the NHL playoffs since 2017.
Reynolds' Departure Leaves Race Wide Open
According to sources, the Reynolds-led Remington Group bid left the process after being denied an exclusive 30-day window to secure an arena deal in downtown Ottawa. This suggests that the Habs would have left Canadian Tire Centre if the group had secured ownership of the team. The only stipulation the NHL has implemented about the sale is that the new owners must keep the team in Ottawa.
However, the departure of the presumptive front-runner leaves the bidding war wide open. The NHL board were "very impressed" when they met Reynolds and appeared eager to have him buy the Senators. Galaioto Sports Partners, who are overseeing the sale, have declined to officially say how many bids they expect to receive. But of the ones that are public, there are obviously pros and cons to each. Sparks' Hollywood-backed bid has the potential to bring major star power to Ottawa. However, it is also the least Canadian of the public-revealed bids. Conversely, many of the other bids are being led by wealthy Canadians but lack the star appeal of Hollywood. In a way, that's what made Reynolds the perfect potential owner. However, all we can do now is wait and see who officially submits a bid before May 15. Get all the latest sports news here on HotNewHipHop