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article imageMolson brothers reach deal to buy Montreal Canadiens

By Mark Kersten     Jun 20, 2009 in Sports
There have been a number of reports today indicating that the Montreal Canadiens, amongst the most storied of professional sports franchises, will be sold to the Molson brothers.
The Toronto Star reported that National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman appeared to confirm the sale and praise the deal noting that "That's what I heard, subject to [the NHL's] board approval...I think to the extent that they've been able to find people who are obviously passionate about the game and structure a transaction that makes sense for everybody, that's a real plus for the franchise and the fans in Montreal."
The Molson brothers, Geoff, Andrew and Justin have reached an agreement in principle to buy the team from George Gillett Jr. According to TSN, they will also gain control of Entertainment Centre and the Bell Centre.
The reported price? A whopping $500 million. In 2001 Gillett bought 80.1 percent of the team for $275 million.
This is not the first time the Canadiens have been in the hands of the Molson family, famous for its beer brewing company by the same name. That may bode well for the team's success. The last time the team was owned by the Molson family, they won 11 of their 24 Stanley Cups.
According to reports, the purchase will be confirmed later today.
The Molson purchase of the team solves one question facing the Canadiens in their centenary year. The team faces many other questions this summer, particularly regarding its roster. A number of its key players, including Alexei Kovalev, Mike Komisarek, Alex Tanguay and Saku Koivu, amongst others, are without contracts.
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