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Lemieux doesn’t exactly shoot down Penguins sale rumors

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Round One

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 22: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (L) speaks with Co-Owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins Mario Lemieux during Round One of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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There may be an official statement coming soon, but in the meantime, Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux didn’t totally dismiss rumors that he may sell his stake in the team (to some extent).

“Our goal all along was to solidify the franchise both on and off the ice,” Lemieux said. “Our star players are signed to long-term contracts and they’ve got a deep and passionate fan base to support them, and I believe the Penguins are well-positioned for the future. Regardless of what happens, I plan on staying involved with the team in some capacity, and Ron and I plan to retain an ownership stake.”

Seems like Lemieux is leaving the door open for a partial or even total sale of his piece of the team, doesn’t it?

DK on Sports’ Josh Yohe also contributed to the report, stating that Lemieux’s plan all along - from all the way back in 1999 - was eventually to get out as an owner (though he’s indeed likely to stay involved with the team).

That same joint report goes further from the earlier word that Lemieux is more interested in selling his equity stake to stating that co-owner Ron Burkle isn’t looking to sell at all.

If you’ve followed ownership situations in the past - including the Penguins’ quest to get Consol Energy Center built - you’re likely aware that these situations can feature many twists and turns. There can also be a lot of conjecture and behind the scenes talk. These processes can change at the drop of a hat, sometimes moving quickly and sometimes starting and stalling in baffling ways.

Click here for the full press release from the Penguins.