Actor Ryan Reynolds has his eyes on a major sporting purchase, revealing he’s interested in buying the NHL franchise the Ottawa Senators.
The 30-year-old team is for sale after the estate of former owner Eugene Melnyk, who had owned the Senators since 2003, died in March at age 62.
His daughters have been part of a group overseeing the team since then.
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Although there’s nothing more Canadian than ice hockey, Reynolds is searching for some deep pockets to help fund his dream.
He is an actor as well as a business man, including co-owning gin distillery Aviation American Gin, his net worth is believed to be around the $150m mark or $A234.6m.
This is well short of the Forbes estimate in December 2021, which saw the club value listed at $525m ($A805m).
He and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McIlhenney also co-own Welsh club Wrexham AFC, one of the oldest football clubs in the world.
Reynolds, who best known for playing the Marvel Comics character Deadpool, was born in Canada and became a US citizen in 2018.
And Reynolds has similar interests to the team.
People Magazine reported last week Reynolds was interested, and that it was important the Senators stay in Ottawa.
It’s similar to what the Senators board of directors want.
“This was a necessary and prudent step to connect with those deeply interested parties who can show us what their vision is for the future of the team,” team chairman Sheldon Plener said.
“A condition of any sale will be that the team remains in Ottawa.”
Speaking on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon earlier in the week, Reynolds confirmed he was in fact looking into it.
“Yes, that is true,” he said.
“I am trying to do that. It’s very expensive. I need a partner with really deep pockets.
“It’s called a consortium when you form a group together to buy an entity which is a fancy way of saying I need a sugar mommy or a sugar daddy.”
Reynolds also revealed that although he was born in Vancouver, Ottawa was close to his heart.
“I love Ottawa. I grew up in Vancouver, which has my heart always, but I also grew up in Ottawa,” Reynolds said. “I spent a long time in Vanier which is a little town right inside Ottawa.”
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman revealed he had heard Reynolds’ comments.
“He was quite articulate on the Tonight Show last night with Jimmy Fallon that he’d be very interested and he needs either a sugar mommy or a sugar daddy with a lot of money to help him,” Bettman said with a smile.
“I think those were his exact words that I’m quoting. Listen, anything that engages the fan base, that brings a lot of attention to the franchise and the team is a plus. He’s a very popular and well-respected person.”
However he said the formal process hadn’t begun to sell the team.
But he’s not the only one interested. The Globe and Mail reported transport billionaire Michael Andlauer is the early favourite to buy the club although plenty of other parties have identified interest.
Melnyk bought the Senators in 2003 for $US92m after they declared bankruptcy and during his tenure they reached the playoffs nine times, including a run to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to Anaheim.
The Senators, who haven’t reached the NHL playoffs since 2017, are off to a 4-6 start this season, second-worst overall in the 16-team Eastern Conference.
— with AFP