The Pittsburgh Penguins have a new owner.
KDKA TV in Pittsburgh reports that the NHL team will be sold to Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie for $175 million.
Balsillie is the owner of Research In Motion, a Blackberry manufacturer based in Waterloo, Ont.
Among the groups trying to buy the Penguins were Hartford businessman Sam Fingold and a group led by New York taxicab medallion financier Andrew Murstein, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former star quarterback Dan Marino.
Penguins owner Mario Lemieux and his partners were approached by groups interested in purchasing the franchise back in January. Lemieux had said any new owners would be bound by an agreement to remain in Pittsburgh if a coalition assembled by the Penguins is awarded the license to run a slots parlor downtown.
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved Lemieux's reorganization plan to save the Penguins from bankruptcy in 1999. The Hall of Famer bought the team to help recover unfulfilled contractual payments by former Penguins owners and to keep the franchise in Pittsburgh, making him the first former player to become majority owner of his former team.
While it owned the team, the Lemieux group paid back in full all the money owed by the Penguins before they declared bankruptcy.
During Lemieux's time as owner, the Penguins reached the playoffs twice and Lemieux made a comeback in 2000 after having been retired for three seasons.
Source: TSN : NHL - Canada's Sports Leader