No bankruptcy for Penguins

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The Pittsburgh Penguins' ugly off-season saga continues with reports of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman strongly opposing Penguins' reported move to declare bankruptcy.

The Penguins claim to have lost $37.5 million in the past two seasons. Should they file for bankruptcy, the NHL would take over the team and sell it according to NHL constitution and Bettman has made it clear that is the case.

The Penguins are owned by Harold Baldwin and Roger Marino who became a co-owner 15 months ago and has since pumped $60 million into the team. The two are engaged in a dispute over Baldwin refusing to sell his half to Marino without guarantees of the Penguins not seeking Chapter 11 protection.

"As long as I am co-managing director of this team, that will not happen," Baldwin said of bankruptcy. "That is not a solution. I am interested in doing what is best for the long-range success of this franchise."

The Penguins still owe retired Mario Lemieux $33 million and he has sued the team and Marino over misssed payments. The Penguins are also being sued by Spectacor Management Group, the company that runs the Civic Arena, for failure to make payments.

"On more than one occasion, the Penguins have expressed to us the very real possibility of filing for bankruptcy protection," Lemieux's agent, Tom Reich, said. "In our preparations for the courtroom, we continue to anticipate that probability."

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