Vinik May Buy Hockey Team

Jan 29 2010 | 9:45am ET

A Boston hedge fund manager could be the next owner of hockey’s Tampa Bay Lightning.

National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman has reportedly approached Vinik Asset Management founder Jeff Vinik about making a bid for the troubled team. The Lightning needed a $2 million advance on its television rights to meet its final payroll last season, and has received an advance on its revenue sharing money from the NHL to met its January payroll, SportsBusiness Daily reports. And the team’s holding company, OK Hockey, may have defaulted on its loans.

Vinik, who is a minority owner of baseball’s Boston Red Sox (hedge fund manager John Henry is the majority owner), had representatives in Tampa recently. It is unclear if he would attempt to buy the team on his own or recruit minority stakeholders.

At least three others are interested in buying the Lightning, including current co-owner Len Barrie.

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