If “advanced talks” keep going, then Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle might not own the Pittsburgh Penguins much longer. Fenway Sports Group LLC — owner of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club — are in “advanced talks” to buy the Penguins.
The Wall Street Journal’s Cara Lambardo and Laine Higgins broke the news of a possible Penguins sale to Fenway Sports. They mentioned that a Penguins sale could be finalized “later this week.”
Other outlets, including Sportico, back up the report about talks between Penguins ownership and Fenway Sports Group LLC.
Importantly, “advanced talks” don’t guarantee a sale. Since becoming Penguins owners in 1999, there have been occasional reports about Lemieux and Burkle selling the team. (And maybe a power play or two to finance a new arena?)
In 2015, there were rumblings about Lemieux and Burkle pursuing a Penguins sale more aggressively.
From @TSNBobMcKenzie, Ron Burkle & Mario Lemieux hired Morgan Stanley to explore the possibility of selling some or all of #Pens franchise.
— Ashley Chase (@AshleyChaseTV) June 3, 2015
Memorably, Mario Lemieux returned from retirement during the 2000-01 season, shortly after becoming co-owner.
Despite a shortened season, Lemieux ended up a Hart Trophy finalist, remarkably scoring 35 goals and 76 points in 43 games. He also generated 91 points in 67 games during the 2002-03 season. Lemieux got to share the ice briefly with Sidney Crosby in 2005-06, the season when he retired for good.
Time will tell if Fenway Sports actually buys the Penguins from Lemieux and Burkle. In the meantime, people can joke about buying the Penguins with Sidney Crosby at age 34, and Evgeni Malkin at 35.
buying the Penguins as Crosby & Malkin enter their mid 30s pic.twitter.com/2LzkZnc8ja
— Dan Hopper (@DanHoppOPS) November 16, 2021
Through 14 games this season, the Penguins have a 5-5-4 record. Sportico’s Eben Novy-Williams notes that, if a Penguins sale happens, Lemieux’s likely to remain with the team in some capacity.
Important note in here for those asking:
We're told that Mario Lemieux *IS* staying on in some capacity with the team. Same is true for team's current senior leadership. https://t.co/aYGz3QNi9D
— Eben Novy-Williams (@novy_williams) November 16, 2021
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.