Oshawa Generals owner buys minority stake in NHL’s Ottawa Senators

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Published September 22, 2023 at 9:15 am

Oshawa Generals owner Rocco Tullio can now add NHL minority owner to his resume after the sale of the Ottawa Senators to Toronto businessman and Hamilton Bulldogs owner Michael Andlauer was made official Thursday.

Terms of the deal weren’t released, but reports during the bidding process peg the value of the sale at about $950 million.

Tullio, who made his fortune with Windsor- based Rock Developments and has owned the Generals since 2007, has been involved in some capacity in the drawn-out bidding process for the NHL club since the beginning.

Before, in fact, as he had made overtures to the late Eugene Melnyk about buying the team before the Senators officially went on the selling block last November following Melynk’s death.

 

Oshawa Generals owner Rocco Tullio

Tullio was then briefly involved in a venture with Andlauer before heading up his own team for this bid and then teaming up with Pickering Casino Resort and Durham Live developer Steve Apostolopoulos.

After Apostolopoulos dropped out, citing the many delays in the process (after reportedly making the highest offer) Tullio returned to the Andlauer team.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be part of this historic deal,” Tullio said. “I plan to bring the same winning mentality I have in Oshawa to the people of Ottawa, winning their great fans a Stanley Cup.”

The deal, which will see Melynk’s adult daughters, Anna and Olivia, retain a 10 per cent stake in the club, was approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors Thursday. Andlauer will assume control of the organization’s operations, effective immediately.

“We are the team that plays between two large hockey markets who both believe they are the centre of the hockey universe,” Andlauer said on social media. “I have been the underdog my whole life, and I know we have the team, staff, fans and community to prove them wrong.”

The sale process went beyond the sport pages during its lengthy run with celebrities such as Ryan Reynolds, Snoop Dog and The Weeknd all involved before an agreement was reached om principal with Andlauer’s team in June.

New Ottawa Senators owner Michael Andlauer

Andlauer is also the founder and chief executive officer of Andlauer Healthcare Group, which owns health-care supply chain companies and is the founder of Toronto merchant bank Bulldog Capital Partners.

“The Ottawa Senators Hockey Club is an amazing organization, from the players to the staff, to the most passionate fanbase in the game. My family and I are thrilled to officially be a part of Ottawa’s team and the Ottawa-Gatineau community,” Andlauer said in a statement. “Thank you to the NHL and the Melnyk family for the opportunity to make this a reality and entrusting me to steward this remarkable franchise into the future.”

“It is an incredibly exciting time for the franchise, fans and the community.”

Tullio believes the new partnership will have “great benefits” for the Oshawa community as well.

“We are excited to bring a synergy between our two organizations, whether it’s through our players or our staff,” he said. “While I take on this new venture a few hours east this changes nothing in my commitment to the Oshawa Generals franchise and bringing a record sixth Memorial Cup to Gens Nation.”

One of seven NHL franchises based in Canada, the Ottawa Senators returned to the league in 1992 following a 58-year absence. Ottawa won 11 Stanley Cups during its original reign from 1903 to 1934. The modern-day Senators have captured four titles in the Northeast Division and a Presidents’ Trophy in 2002-03.

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