Canadiens Sold For $183 Million

Archived from 2000-01 season.

NHL teams

The Montreal Canadiens, the most successful team in the NHL history and national treasure for Canada, has a new owner.

American George Gillett paid $183 million for 80.1 percent stake from Molson Inc. and the Molson Centre arena where the team plays. He then promised to return the "grandeur of this team" and assured the Habs will stay in Montreal.

"Our vision is to restore the franchise as the greatest team in hockey," Gillett said. "We want to work with the fans and we want to work in harmony with the Montreal community."

Only six of the 30 NHL teams are based in Canada, and at least two others besides the Canadiens have warned of a possible sale and move in recent years.

Canadian-based clubs pay higher local taxes than U.S.-based clubs, and players get paid in U.S. dollars, while revenue from ticket sales, broadcast rights and other sources comes in weaker Canadian dollars.

"Know that my family and I are assuming this responsibility with great seriousness, with great humility and with tremendous respect for the history and tradition that makes this perhaps the greatest sports franchise in history," Gillett said.

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