The news earlier this month that Fenway Sports Group was preparing to buy the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins raised plenty of eyebrows.
The deal is very much happening, though, and now we know a few more details.
The two sides announced Monday that FSG has reached an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in the Penguins. FSG's purchase is expected to become official by the end of the calendar year pending approval from the NHL's Board of Governors.
Fenway Sports Group, led by co-founders John Henry and Tom Werner, also owns the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC, both teams' stadiums (Fenway Park and Anfield), 80% of NESN and 50% of Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, in addition to several other subsidiaries.
It sounds like Henry and Werner won't be too active in the Penguins' day-to-day operations, though: Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle will remain part of Pittsburgh's ownership group, with Lemieux continuing to lead hockey operations and the team's senior leadership staying intact.
Here's what Werner had to say in a statement about FSG's pending purchase:
"The Pittsburgh Penguins are a premier National Hockey League franchise with a very strong organization, a terrific history and a vibrant, passionate fan base. We will work diligently to continue building on the remarkable Penguins’ tradition of championships and exciting play.
“We are particularly excited to welcome Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle to FSG and have the utmost respect for all they have done to build the Penguins into the perennially successful franchise we know today. We look forward to working with Mario, Ron and the entire Penguins front office team."
Henry and Werner reportedly have interest in purchasing an NBA team as well, so their tentacles spread far beyond the Red Sox. Fenway Sports Group has deep pockets, though, and with Chaim Bloom installed as chief baseball officer, it still should be business as usual for Boston's baseball team.