In a (pardon the bad pun) shocking story, the Lightning were sold to Absolute Hockey Enterprises, a group headed up by former Blue Jackets GM Doug MacLean. Apparently, this move came out of nowhere. Like any sale, this is subject to approval by the NHL's board of governors.
MacLean has some ties to the Florida area. He coached the Panthers to the Stanley Cup Final in 1996, but got swept by the Avs, and got fired just 23 games into the 1997 campaign.
Jay Feaster will remain GM of the Bolts, and
It doesn't appear that MacLean has any intention of moving the team to his native PEI. Not that there is a city big enough to support an NHL team on Prince Edward Island, but people always start talking about relocation when a team is sold.
The other news was about the Oilers who were not sold. Pharmaceutical king Darryl Katz made another (his third) pitch to purchase the Oil. Katz had pledged to build (and finance) a new downtown arena and to increase payroll. The 33-member ownership group overwhelmingly voted to reject Katz' $185M (Canadian) bid, declaring that they are the best ownership group EVAH. The franchise is indeed profitable, but most Oil fans are ready for some new blood, and they're a little upset about this turn of events.
After the no-sale, the ownership group loudly stomped out into the front yard and took down the "FOR SALE" sign. Then they vehemently denied the existence of any such sign.
Many Edmontonians think this is a bad turn of events. If for no other reason, then for the simple one that EIG has no concrete plan to build a new arena.
Sometimes I forget how lucky we are here. We have an owner who is pretty much public enemy #1 in the state of Connecticut, but he's well liked around here. He's financially very well off, even if and when the Hurricanes lose money. We have a fantastic arena with a great lease, and we have a growing support base in the local corporate world. Oh yeah. And we have that STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS banner hanging in the rafters. Of course those two teams also have that, but their ownership is (or was) in some state of turmoil.