NHL

Ryan Reynolds wants a piece of the Ottawa Senators. The NHL needs to make sure that happens

Ryan Reynolds wants a piece of the Ottawa Senators. The NHL needs to make sure that happens

For almost five minutes on Tuesday evening, Brady Tkachuk stood near his locker and answered questions about the Ottawa Senators’ 6-4 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

Tkachuk wore a somber expression on his face for most of the session, a clear indication that the current six-game losing streak is not sitting well with the captain. Many of Tkachuk’s answers were laced with passion as he discussed the current state of the team.

He used the word “frustrating” to open and close his first response.

At one point, he bluntly said, “Everybody here hates to lose. It’s not fun.”

But at the end of the media scrum, Tkachuk’s eyes suddenly lit up with a new line of questioning. His expression changed and the more affable version of Tkachuk—the one we’re used to dealing with—reappeared.

And the question that changed his tone?

Was it a bit of a distraction that Ryan Reynolds showed up on Tuesday night?

“I think he’s great. He has an interest in the team and I think he would be great for the community,” Tkachuk said. “You could see the fans really enjoyed it too. So for someone like him to take an interest in us, it’s great to see.”

There are few things that can distract a passionate, angry hockey market and its captain from a six-game losing streak. But an A-list celebrity suddenly on the radar to buy your NHL franchise is certainly one of them. We’ll have plenty of time to wallow in the misery of defensive breakdowns and questionable squad decisions. Heck, I’ve probably written this column a dozen times during the 2022 calendar year.

But in the midst of this bad losing streak, we need to take a brief moment and appreciate what is unfolding before our eyes.

In the course of a week, Reynolds’ interest in the senators it’s gone from a vague single emoji on Twitter to an all-court press. And on Tuesday evening, he walked into the Canadian Tire Centre, where he received a standing ovation when he was greeted in the first television timeout of the contest. At ice level, Senators players were banging their sticks against the backboards to join the chorus of applause inside the arena.

“I’ve definitely enjoyed some of the movies he’s been in,” Tkachuk said. “So seeing him live was really fun.”

This surprise appearance in Ottawa came less than 24 hours after Reynolds appeared on The Tonight Show and publicly expressed his interest in owning a piece of the team.

“I’m trying to do it,” Reynolds told host Jimmy Fallon. “It is very expensive. So I need a partner with very deep pockets.”

As we have reported for a few months in this space, there are several parties interested in buying the Senators and keeping them in Ottawa. It’s only fair that they all connect with Reynolds now, as the actor is clearly putting his cards on the table for all to see.

Under normal circumstances, Gary Bettman doesn’t like this kind of show from potential owners who are outside the NHL circle If we go by the league’s typical playbook, PR campaigns and media appearances seem to drastically reduce an outsider’s chances of joining the NHL’s inner sanctum.

But during a media session Tuesday night in Winnipeg, Bettman seemed to embrace the fact that Reynolds is publicly showing interest in being part of the Senators franchise.

“Look, anything that appeals to the fan base, that brings a lot of attention to the franchise or the team is a plus,” Bettman said. “He is a very popular and respected person.”

Bettman’s response seems like a clear departure from the usual script, where newcomers are kept at arm’s length until a thorough vetting process has been concluded. But Reynolds doesn’t fit the mold of a typical potential NHL owner. He’s not a wealthy high-tech entrepreneur trying to become a household name by owning an NHL franchise.

Instead, Reynolds is already a household name and arguably the brightest star in the Hollywood galaxy.

In that case, it would be the Senators using Reynolds’ stardom to build theirs Mark. Not the other way around.

The NHL sphere, especially at the corporate level, is full of milquetoast personalities who generate little buzz and excitement. Governing council meetings could certainly use an injection of Reynolds’ star power. In the last week alone, the Senators and the NHL have landed significant mentions in People magazine and The Tonight Show.

Of course, senators have enjoyed brief brushes with celebrity before.

There was the inexplicably Rihanna moment wore a Sens jersey as a fashion statement.

Matthew Perry in brief he was wearing a Senators jersey in the movie The whole nine yards.

And of course, Carrie Underwood spent time in Ottawa when Mike Fisher played for the Senators.

But these were all fleeting moments.

Reynolds, meanwhile, is looking to own a piece of the Senators and seemingly become a meaningful voice for the franchise. As a content producer, Reynolds could probably think of imaginative ways to market the hockey team to a much wider fan base.

The Senators have always suffered from “little brother syndrome,” geographically sandwiched between the two most storied Original Six franchises in Montreal and Toronto. But bringing Reynolds on board could help alter that power dynamic. It won’t erase the decades of history these franchises have in Ottawa, but it will significantly change the perception of Ottawa as the sleepy, boring government town that fun forgot. Even the most stubborn canadiens or Maple leaves The fan would admit that Reynolds owning a share of the Senators would improve Ottawa’s street cred in NHL circles.

Reynolds likely has a vision and a plan for how to make this work, with his involvement in Wrexham Football Club serving as a good template for adopting the underdog mantra.

And the fact that Reynolds wants to buy a piece of the Ottawa Senators because he has a personal connection to the city shouldn’t be lost on anyone. He has made it clear on several occasions that spending time in Vanier as a teenager had a profound effect on him. And Tuesday’s surprise cameo in Ottawa makes it feel like Reynolds wouldn’t be an absentee owner in this market.

The Senators’ financial picture has always felt like a house of cards, with financial instability and attendance issues putting them just a notch or two above Arizona in the minds of many hockey fans . Imagine if a celebrity of Reynolds’ stature suddenly expressed interest in buying a stake in the coyotes. It would seem unfathomable.

But that’s the gift the Senators got this week.

Reynolds doesn’t need the Senators. The Senators need him.

But the most important thing is that Reynolds flight the senators

And that should be enough for any potential ownership group to ensure Reynolds has a stake and a voice in the Senators moving forward.

As he concluded his media scrum on Tuesday, Tkachuk was asked if Reynolds came to the Ottawa locker room after the game.

“No, we didn’t see him,” Tkachuk said. “Maybe we’ll see him on the way.”

If the NHL is smart, they’ll make sure that’s a reality for Tkachuk and his teammates.

(Photo: Richard A. Whittaker / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)





#Ryan #Reynolds #piece #Ottawa #Senators #NHL

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