NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -The Nashville Predators have signed a letter of intent to sell the team to a local group of investors trying to keep the NHL franchise from leaving town, the team's owner announced Wednesday.
The group of eight partners includes David Freeman, chief executive officer of 36 Venture Capital LLC, and Herb Fritch, CEO of HealthSpring Inc. The only partner from outside the Nashville area is William ``Boots'' Del Biaggio III, a California venture capitalist who is a part-owner of the San Jose Sharks.
Freeman has put down a $10 million deposit in an effort to make sure the deal is completed, owner Craig Leipold said.
``I'm excited to pass the torch to David and to Boots and their group. I know that they are all committed to Nashville,'' Leipold said.
A total value of the bid was not immediately announced, but it was expected to be about $180 million - much less than the $220 million offered by Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie in May when Leipold last announced he had signed a letter of intent to sell his team.
Leipold has been trying to sell his franchise because he said he has lost $70 million since being awarded the team in June 1997.

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Senators vs. Penguins Game 6 Pick After a dominant showing in Game 5, will the Pittsburgh Penguins finish off the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Finals when they meet in Game 6 at 8PM...
Thumbnail Senators vs. Penguins Game 5 Pick Can the Pittsburgh Penguins take control of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight when they host the Ottawa Senators in...
Thumbnail Predators vs. Ducks Game 5 Who will take the pivotal Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals when the Anaheim Ducks host the Nashville Predators...
Thumbnail Penguins vs. Senators Game 4 Pick Will the Pittsburgh Penguins find a way to even up the series when they meet up with the Ottawa Senators tonight at 8PM ET in Game...

NHL Team Pages