Update: According to the Associated Press, Nutting declined to listen to separate proposals to buy the team last season, including one by Lemieux. Minor league team owner Chuck Greenberg also submitted a proposal, but later joined Nolan Ryan in a successful bid to buy the Rangers.
11:06 am: Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Mario Lemieux and Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle recently made an unsolicited offer to Pirates owner Bob Nutting, but did not hear a response. The offer was reportedly “very serious,” but Nutting downplayed the possibility when asked by Kovacevic:
“Honestly, I’m not sure there’s a situation to describe,” Mr. Nutting
said last night when asked about the meeting. “I like Ron. He’s an
extremely competent businessman and deal-maker, and we’ve talked about
a wide range of topics. But I think the simplest way to say this is
that there never has been a substantive or formal offer for the team.
The team is not for sale.”
There will likely be two schools of thought on this:
1) Hopes that Lemieux — a Pittsburgh hero — and Burkle could bring the same sort of success they brought to the Penguins after the lockout.
2) That Nutting and co. deserve more time to implement their plan for the franchise.
It may lead somewhere. Or, as Nutting suggests, it’s not even a consideration. It’s an interesting thought at the very least.