SUN Hockey Pool

NHL nixes a $3B buyout bid

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

Two powerful American companies want to make the NHL a league of their own, offering to buy all 30 teams and the league office for more than $3 billion US.

Rogers Sportsnet reports that GamePlan Financial Marketing along with LLC and Bain Financial Capital, made the second of two pitches to the league at Tuesday's board of governors in New York. The league heard the group out and then said thanks, but no thanks.

Meanwhile, a group of agents met last night to discuss "alternatives" for next year, possibly including a small scale players league or an extensive all-star tour of Canada next year.

"People have to start looking and seeing what's going to happen if there's not going to be any hockey played in September," one agent said. "A lot of guys are going to look at Europe, but not everybody."

LEETCH A LEAF LIFER?

Jay Grossman, the agent for Maple Leafs defenceman Brian Leetch, says his client would be interested in returning to the team, even if the loss of this season has made him a free agent. Leetch turns 37 today.

"There's a sense of unfinished business here for sure, but it's really premature," Grossman said. "Brian is committed to playing again. His legs are good and he can definitely participate at a high level. The Leafs went out on a limb to get him (giving up defenceman Maxim Kondratiev, forward Jarkko Immonen and a first and second-round pick)."

SALE APPROVED

The NHL board of governors approved the 50% sale of the Vancouver Canucks by billionaire John McCaw to developer Francesco Aquilini.

SWEDE NUMBERS

Locked-out NHL stars helped the Swedish Elite League set an attendance record this season. The league said 1.86 million people attended games this season, an 8.4% increase from last year.


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