By: John P. Wise
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh’s beloved NHL franchise is in talks to be acquired by the same group that owns the Boston Red Sox from baseball.
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KDKA investigator Andy Sheehan confirmed by sources on Tuesday that Fenway Sports Group had contacted the Penguins about purchasing the equipment.
FSG also owns Liverpool FC in the English Premier League, as well as part of Roush Racing in NASCAR circles.
Penguins legend Mario Lemieux bought the team while he was still a player more than 20 years ago. The Penguins won three Stanley Cups under his ownership, including back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017.
“I was surprised by the news itself,” Dominic Racobaoda told Jennifer Borrasso of KDKA, a Penguins fan. “If anyone had the best interest of the Penguins, it would be Mario Lemieux. He saved the team, bought (Sidney Crosby) here. “
SEE: Jennifer Borrasso Reports
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The genealogy of the FSG championship also includes four World Series titles since it bought the Boston Red Sox 20 years ago, as well as a crown of the Champions League in 2019 with Liverpool, which then won the Premier League the following year.
A source close to the Penguins has confirmed that “active” negotiations are taking place between the Lemieux Group and Fenway. The source told Sheehan that if the talks were successful, Lemieux would remain in an administrative role but with a reduced ownership investment. CEO David Morehouse, COO Kevin Acklin, GM Ron Hextall and Coach Mike Sullivan are also expected to stay.
“My concern is how much Mario will continue to participate?” Penguins fan Scott Higgins told Jennifer Borrasso of KDKA. “And how much does the city of Pittsburgh cost?”
The source said Fenway wants to stay the course, impressed with the team’s admiring base and reputation for success on and off the ice.
Last December, Forbes magazine has updated its list of the most valuable NHL franchises, ranking the Penguins 11th out of the league’s 32 teams, valued at $ 650 million.
FSG declined to comment when KDKA contacted Tuesday afternoon.
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The Penguins, 5-5-4, sit in seventh place in the eight-team Metropolitan Division in the NHL’s Eastern Conference. They welcome Buffalo to PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday night.