The NHL's Ottawa Senators are up for sale after the death of long-time owner Eugene Melnyk last year. While the Senators are a team long associated with the NHL, the current iteration of the franchise existed since 1992. They have never won the Stanley Cup, losing 4-1 to Anaheim Ducks in their only appearance in 2007. Furthermore, the Senators have not qualified for the playoffs since 2017.
There are currently four major bids to acquire ownership of the Senators. One bid is led by healthcare mogul Michael Andlauer. Another is helmed by real estate moguls, the Kimel Family. Then there are two Hollywood bids. The first is fronted by Canadian-born actor Ryan Reynolds. Meanwhile, the other is spearheaded by producer Neko Sparks. Spark's ownership group also includes The Rock and Snoop Dogg. There are also reportedly three other groups interested in purchasing the team. The non-binding deadline to submit a bid is May 15.
The Weeknd Joins Kimel Family Bid
Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, was born in Toronto in 1990. According to a report from the Ottawa Sun, it's The Weeknd's Canadian roots and love of hockey that is getting him involved in the bidding war for the Senators. The Weeknd is reportedly joining the bid launched by Michael and Jeffrey Kimel. Sources told the Ottawa Sun that The Weeknd has agreed to a "commitment to be involved financially" with the Kimels' bid.
“He’s going to be a great partner for Ottawa and the NHL,” a source close to The Weeknd said. “The team he works with grew up in Ottawa, so they know the market really well, but he’s the largest musician planet right now. He has the most views, the most streams and he’s a hockey guy." The source continued, "He doesn’t like to be in the media very often so this really says something that he wants to be part of a bid. He wants to get this deal done, he wants to build something that will be great in Ottawa and he’ll be a good fit. He’s got a lot of connections worldwide.” It's reported that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is eager to have the sale completed by the end of the summer.