Toronto billionaire Michael Andlauer has entered into an agreement to purchase 90%of the Ottawa Senators, the team announced Tuesday, while Anna and Olivia Melnyk will retain a 10% interest. According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the Senators will be sold for a price of $950 million.
The deal is subject to approval from the NHL along with the finalization of the sale process.
“My family and I are very excited to be a part of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club,” Andlauer said in a statement. “I believe that the Senators’ fanbase is one of the most passionate in the league and I’m excited to take the franchise’s success both on and off the ice to the next level.
“The short and long-term future of the team is incredibly bright, and I look forward to getting to know the team, the fanbase and the community.”
The Senators were originally put up for sale in November 2022 after the team’s owner Eugene Melnyk died in March 2022. Melnyk had owned the team for almost 20 years at the time of his death.
Andlauer has been involved with the sport of hockey for multiple decades. The businessman has been connected to the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs since 2003, where he first served as a co-owner before becoming the franchise’s majority owner in 2004. During the 2006-07 season, the Bulldogs won the Calder Cup as league champions.
In March 2015, Andlauer sold Hamilton to the Montreal Canadiens and purchased the Ontario Hockey League’s Belleville Bulls. He then relocated the Bulls to Hamilton, where they won the OHL Championship in 2018 and 2022.
In addition, Andlauer purchased a share of the Canadiens in 2009 and has served as the team’s alternate governor since that purchase.
Andlauer also has 35 years of experience in the transportation and logistics industry and is currently the CEO of Andlauer Healthcare Group Inc. He also founded Bulldog Capital Partners Inc., which is a Toronto-based merchant bank that focus on private equity investments.
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Good morning to everyone but especially to… THE VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
The Golden Knights are adding some silver to their trophy case. After blasting the Panthers, 9-3, in Game 5 and tying the Stanley Cup Final single-game goal record in the process, Vegas is your Stanley Cup champion.
Mark Stone scored once in each period to become just the third player with a hat trick in a Stanley Cup Final-clinching game. Nicolas Roy (twice), Alec Martinez, Reilly Smith, Michael Amadio and Ivan Barbashev also scored for Vegas. The Golden Knights’ offense was clearly dominant, but so was their defense — especially the penalty kill. The Panthers went 0-14 on the power play this series, becoming the first team to fail to score a power play goal in the Stanley Cup Final since the 1948 Red Wings. Overall, the Golden Knights outscored the Panthers by 14 in the series, the second-best margin in the Final ever. Those numbers really do tell the entire story. This was complete domination, devastation, mastery — you name it. It speaks volumes that of all of the scorers listed above, none of them won the Conn Smythe Trophy. That honor went to Jonathan Marchessault, who led the team with 25 postseason points.
This Vegas team was simply overwhelming, writes our Austin Nivison.
Nivison: “After a long run of playoff brilliance from both players, Stone and Jack Eichel saved their best performances for last. Eichel was all over the ice, making plays on the backcheck and the forecheck. He was rewarded with three assists and finished the playoffs with 20, which led the league. All Stone did was seal a Stanley Cup victory with three goals. His hat trick was the first in a Stanley Cup Final since Colorado Avalanche legend Petr Forsber pulled it off in Game 2 of the 1996 Stanley Cup Final, which was also against the Panthers.” Honorable mentions The Giants and Cardinals will play in the 2024 Field of Dreams Game. The Rangers named Peter Laviolette head coach. Michael Andlauer is the new owner of the Senators. Georgia’s top-ranked 2024 class got another boost in defensive lineman Jordan Thomas. And not such a good morning for… USATSI STEFON DIGGS AND THE BUFFALO BILLS
Star Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs was not at Buffalo’s mandatory minicamp practice Tuesday, an absence that has head coach Sean McDermott “very concerned.”
Late Tuesday morning, McDermott announced everyone except Diggs was in attendance. Shortly thereafter, Diggs’ agent, Adisa Bakari, said Diggs was in Buffalo (and had been since Monday), had spoken with McDermott and GM Brandon Beane, and would be in attendance for all of minicamp. The truth, though, is that Diggs was in Buffalo on Monday and Tuesday… but left before Tuesday’s practice. The absence is not contract-related — Diggs got a huge extension last offseason — nor is it football-related, quarterback Josh Allen explained after practice. This obviously isn’t Buffalo’s ideal start to the summer. After making the AFC Championship Game in 2020, the Bills have lost in the Divisional Round in two straight seasons. Last season, Diggs was visibly frustrated with Allen and left the locker room in a hurry after losing to the Bengals in the playoffs, a loss Diggs was still taking hard months later.
Tuesday, Allen indicated he and Diggs have a strong relationship, something that has played out on the field. Since arriving in Buffalo in 2020, Diggs is tied with Davante Adams for most receptions in the NFL.
Not so honorable mentions Mets reliever Drew Smith was ejected after a sticky stuff check… and his team lost, 7-6, to the Yankees. Chiefs star Chris Jones is also skipping minicamp. NBA mock draft, plus previewing free agency 🏀 Getty Images Unlike the NFL, which gets months between the end of the season and the beginning of the next one, the NBA moves right into the thick of things with the draft and the opening of free agency later this month. Let’s start with the draft, which is just eight days away.
The Spurs won the lottery, and there’s no drama there. Victor Wembanyama is a generational prospect and should be a franchise cornerstone for years to come. After that, things get interesting. The Hornets have the second pick and a massive decision to make: Scoot Henderson, an insanely athletic, talented guard from G League Ignite who has teams interested in trading up or Brandon Miller, a 6’9″ forward with unlimited range from Alabama.
Our Colin Ward-Henninger released his first mock draft of the year, and he has Charlotte taking…
Ward-Henninger: “Hornets: Scott Henderson — Given the positional redundancy with LaMelo Ball, I understand why many experts expect Charlotte to go with the better-fitting Brandon Miller here. I just think Henderson is a significantly better prospect, and the Hornets are in no position to be picky about fit at this point. Henderson is as dynamic of a guard prospect as we’ve seen…” Here’s more to know about the draft:
Top prospect scouting reports How Amen Thompson’s shooting mechanics will impact his draft stock Pro-ready prospects Better-Than Team Two days after the draft, free agency starts, and it will be a wild one. We already have rumors connecting Kyrie Irving to…
LeBron James (probably not) The Rockets (more intriguing) The Heat (Miami could go star-hunting) Our James Herbert has listed 50 top possible free agents, and Irving is among seven headliners, alongside James Harden, Draymond Green and others.
Ranking the U.S. Open field, identifying sleepers 🏌 Claire Komarek, CBS Sports The U.S. Open starts tomorrow, and I could not be more excited. The course — Los Angeles Country Club — is awesome. The field is loaded. The stars should shine.
Our Kyle Porter ranked the top 23 contenders in the field, and if you paid attention to yesterday’s newsletter, you won’t be surprised to see PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka at No. 1. He’s followed by the top two players in the Official World Golf Ranking: Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm.
Things start to get fun at No. 4.
Porter: “4. Viktor Hovland — Hovland has quietly become a monster at the majors. Since The Open last summer, nobody has been even close to as good as him, and he’s coming off a run where he finished T2 at the PGA Championship, T16 at the Charles Schwab Challenge and won the Memorial Tournament. His iron play has been, at times this year, up and down, and this place will demand it. But I trust his game plan and the level he’s playing at perhaps more than anyone other than the three guys above him right now.” I’m really intrigued by Hovland as well as plenty of other names on Kyle’s rankings.
But what about the 133 golfers not on Kyle’s list? Our Patrick McDonald has sleepers, including…
McDonald: “Si Woo Kim — Kim’s play this year is not being appreciated. The South Korean continues to milk the most out of his game and entered the final round of the Memorial Tournament with a share of the lead alongside Rory McIlroy. Kim ultimately finished solo fourth at Jack’s Place and added to a season that includes a runner-up finish at the Byron Nelson and a victory at the Sony Open in January. He ranks second in driving accuracy (minimum 15 rounds) over the last three months and isn’t afraid of the spotlight. Odds: 125-1” Athletics fans pull off reverse boycott; Nevada Senate approves funding bill for team’s new stadium ⚾ USATSI For most MLB teams, it was just another night in a long regular season. For Oakland Athletics fans, it was an opportunity to make a statement.
A season-high 27,759 fans showed up as part of a reverse boycott to protest team ownership and the organization’s impending move to Las Vegas.
To make matters even better, the Athletics beat the MLB-best Rays, 2-1, to extend their winning streak to seven games. To put that in perspective, before this winning streak, Oakland was 12-50. The game featured thousands of fans in green t-shirts that read “SELL” and plenty of chants (featuring words I can’t type here) directed at owner John Fisher. The boycott was also partially in response to commissioner Rob Manfred’s previous comments regarding the team’s poor attendance, which he used to defend the franchise’s incoming move out of Oakland. Earlier in the day, the Nevada Senate approved a $380-million public-funding bill to build the Athletics’ prospective home on the Las Vegas Strip. The bill is expected to pass through the next steps: the Nevada Assembly and then governor Joe Lombardo.
After that, Athletics ownership must secure funding for the rest of the $1.2-million project and get the other 29 MLB owners’ approval, which is expected to happen unanimously.
Drexel basketball player Terrence Butler was found dead in his apartment Wednesday morning, the university announced. Butler was entering his third season at Drexel and was enrolled in the university’s engineering college after starring in high school at Bishop McNamara in Forestville, Maryland.
“On behalf of the entire Drexel community, we extend our deepest sympathy to Terrence’s family, friends and teammates,” Drexel president John Fry said in a statement. “In addition to being a student-athlete, Terrence was involved in numerous activities and organizations at Drexel and was a friend to many throughout the University community.”
Butler appeared in eight games over his two seasons with the Dragons as the 6-foot-7 forward was hampered by injuries that limited his on-court impact. He claimed a spot on the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll in each of his two seasons with the program.
In high school, Butler was a McDonald’s All-American honoree and named Bishop McNamara’s 2019 most valuable player. He followed sisters Tasia (James Madison) and Tiara (Syracuse) in playing Division I college basketball. The university did not reveal a cause of death.
“We hope that all in need of healing can find solace int he days ahead,” Fry wrote.
When the Chicago Bulls tip off the 2023-24 season they’ll be doing so, once again, without their starting point guard in Lonzo Ball. It’s a familiar feeling for the Bulls, who were without Ball for all of last season as well due to setbacks while recovering from multiple surgeries to his left knee.
Ball’s injury has been one of the more disheartening storylines over the last couple seasons due to Chicago’s success with him on the floor. While it was only 35 games, Ball was an essential piece in the Bulls starting out the 2021-22 season so strong, climbing as high as the No. 1 seed in the East prior to Ball going down with the injury.
The former No. 2 overall pick called it a “what if” moment in his career during an appearance on the “From the Point Podcast by Trae Young,” while also feeling bad for the Bulls front office.
“It’s gonna be a big what if,” Ball said. “I feel bad just for the GM, just because I feel like they made the perfect team around me. That was the most I’ve ever been involved in an organization and I finally got the perfect team that I felt like could fit my game, play my way and really just do what I wanted to do. That injury — I’m still going through it right now — but that one messed me up early just because I feel like we really had a chance and never got to see what it was.”
Chicago had a potent offense centered around Ball, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic. Ball was the initiator of Chicago’s offense, dishing the ball to LaVine and DeRozan. He also had a solid pick-and-pop game with Vucevic, and was amongst the most reliable 3-point shooters on the roster, connecting on 42.3% of his shots from deep on over seven attempts a game. But it was Ball’s defense that really made the Bulls go. Together with defensive pest Alex Caruso, the duo were constantly disrupting opposing offensive schemes and helping Chicago get out in transition and push the pace.
During those 35 games that Ball played, the Bulls went 22-13, including a 6-1 start to open the season. However, once Ball was sidelined the Bulls fell from first in the East to sixth and lost in five games to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs.
The Bulls felt Ball’s absence even more last season as the team finished ninth in the East with a 40-42 record and lost in the play-in round to miss the playoffs. But while Ball will miss the entirety of the upcoming season, the guard said he is on track to make a return.
“I’m just taking it day by day,” Ball said. “I just had a really big surgery, hopefully the last one I ever have to get but it’s a long process. I’m already out this whole next season — when I first got hurt we didn’t really know what it was. I’ve seen all types of different doctors and stuff and I was kind of just going up and down. That was really hard for me because I just didn’t know what the next day was going to be like. At least now I got the surgery, we got a plan moving forward, we’ve been on plan and I’m on track. Hopefully everything works out.”
While the Bulls will still miss Ball’s presence on the floor, the team is at least better equipped to withstand his absence after signing guard Jevon Carter in free agency. Carter will certainly bring the defensive intensity needed in Chicago’s backcourt, and he’s coming off a season where he shot 42.1% from deep on four attempts per game. Between him, Ayo Dosunmu and Coby White, the latter two of which Chicago re-signed this summer, the Bulls should have some depth in the backcourt to hold things together while Ball continues his lengthy rehab process.
The New York Knicks have sued the Toronto Raptors and several members of their organization, according to SNY’s Ian Begley. At the center of the suit is former Knicks employee Ikechukwu Azotam, whom Toronto began recruiting in June and ultimately hired this offseason. The suit alleges that Azotam “illegally procured and disclosed proprietary information” from the Knicks upon leaving the team and shared that information with the Raptors.
“These files include confidential information such as play frequency reports, a prep book for the 2022-23 season, video scouting files and materials and more,” according to a statement issued to Begley. “Given the clear violation of our employment agreement, criminal and civil law, we were left no choice but to take this action.”
Azotam, a former assistant video coordinator for the Knicks who held multiple positions between 2020-23, started getting recruited by Toronto in June and informed the Knicks that he was offered a position in July, according to Begley. The lawsuit alleges that he “conspired to use Azotam’s position as a current Knicks insider to funnel proprietary information to the Raptors to help them organize, plan, and structure the new coaching and video operations staff” under first-time head coach Darko Rajakovic.
Begley reported that the suit claims that the Raptors “directed Azotam to misuse his access to the Knicks’ subscription to Synergy Sports to create and then transfer to the Raptors over 3,000 files consisting of film information and data.'” Synergy Sports is a video and analytics tool frequently used by both teams and media companies (including CBS Sports).
Following the report, the Raptors released this statement:
“MLSE and the Toronto Raptors received a letter from MSG on Thursday of last week bringing this complaint to our attention. MLSE responded promptly, making clear our intention to conduct an internal investigation and to fully cooperate. MLSE has not been advised that a lawsuit was being filed or has been filed following its correspondence with MSG. The company strongly denies any involvement in the matters alleged. MLSE and the Toronto Raptors will reserve further comment until this matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.”
Typically, disputes between teams are handled internally within the league. However, due to the possible legal violations at play here, the Knicks seemingly believe that what allegedly happened here exceeds the scope of league discipline and needs court intervention.