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  • Fenway Sports Group reportedly interested in buying Penguins

    Tim Rosenthal November 17, 2021

    As the great pro wrestling announcer Jim Ross eloquently stated in several of his illustrious calls: “Business is about to pick up.”

    And it’s a rather, shall we say, intriguing piece of business potentially.

    As reported in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Fenway Sports Group is interested in purchasing the Pittsburgh Penguins. This development would obviously provide some awkwardness within the Boston market if John Henry’s group completes the purchase.

    The Red Sox and NESN highlight Fenway Sports Group’s portfolio locally. Other notable purchases include the reigning English Premier League champion Liverpool Football Club and Rousch Family Racing.

    The Boston-based company could find itself in direct competition with the Bruins. Hospitality giant Deleware North, owned by the Jacobs family, also has a minority stake in NESN. The regional sports giant broadcasted both Bruins and Red Sox games since the network’s inception in 1984.

    The Bruins and Penguins developed quite the hatred in the past, notably after Ulf Samuelsson’s cheap shot on Cam Neely in the early ’90s and Matt Cooke’s career-altering head hit on Marc Savard in 2010. Their recent postseason matchup in the 2013 Eastern Conference Final resulted in a surprising sweep for the Bruins over the top team in the Eastern Conference during the lockout-shortened season.

    The Boston dynamic becomes even stranger off the ice. The Penguins would likely receive a share of the revenues collected for events at Fenway Park.

    With the league altering its scheduling during the pandemic, the Penguins — as with every NHL team — lost significant ticket revenue during the postseason bubble in 2020 and throughout the 2021 shortened season.

    Pittsburgh’s home opener on Oct. 16 marked the only sold-out crowd this season. They rank 15th in total home average attendance (16,897) and 12th in capacity percentage (92.9). The five-time Stanley Cup champion Penguins enter Wednesday sitting in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division with 16 points.

    The Bruins will host the Penguins in the first meeting this year between the two teams on Dec. 27.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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