Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's going to take a lot of empties to finish the deal!

The Montreal Canadiens are about to return to the Molson family fold, the iconic Canadien brand set to join the once legendary brewing family, that according to reports coming out of Montreal on Saturday.

A purchase price of 500 million will bring the Canadiens and Bell Centre into the Molson portfolio, putting the hockey club back into Canadian and Quebec hands after George Gillett's stewardship.
The last month saw a number of high profile Quebecois put their bids in, from a consortium including Celine Dion and media baron Pierre Peladeau, to the Saputo family, the founder of Cirque du Soleil and for a short period of time former Canadien great Serge Savard. Over the last number of weeks the quest to gain ownership became the only story in Quebec.

The agreement in principle if completed will see the Molson's take the helm of the team, a position the family last held in December of 2001, when the team was sold to Gillett, it will be the third time that the Canadiens have been a Molson owned operation.

Originally his ownership was greeted with suspicion and in some quarters alarm, but over the years the American owner proved to be quite respectful of the legacy of the Canadiens and while the success on the ice eluded the team, for the most part there should be few complaints about how he conducted his business when it came to Quebec's most treasured investment.

With the Molson family once again to be identified with the team, many no doubt will be hoping to a return to glory for Les Glorieux. There will no doubt be complaints from some points in Quebec over the purchase, everyone it seemed had their own favourite potential owner.

With the announcement of days deal in principle, there seems somehow a sense of seamless transition here, the return of one of the most cherished of institutions in the province, back to the family name which seemed synonymous with if for many years.
For the Canadiens, it all seems like a winning situation all around, one which should provide for stability and credibility for years to come.

No comments: