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Canadian investor takes stake in Preds

Nov 16, 2011, 6:23 PM EDT

Brett Wilson Getty Images

The Nashville Predators have a new minority owner, and he’s sort of a celebrity.

Canadian businessman W. Brett Wilson (the W stands for wealthy!) has purchased a five-percent stake in the Preds.

Despite making most of his fortune in the energy sector, Wilson is best known in Canada for his role on “Dragons’ Den,” the CBC show where entrepreneurs pitch investors on various businesses, some of which are so dumb everyone laughs.

Wilson was quick to alleviate any concerns he’s making the investment with an eye on moving the NHL team out of Nashville.

“Since the fall of 2007, I have owned a home in Nashville’s Werthan Mills’ Lofts and have been travelling there regularly for business and pleasure,” Wilson said in a statement. “Joining the Preds ownership group has been contemplated and studied for quite some time. The local owners and I are totally committed to keeping the NHL in Nashville. The business model, both on and off the ice, continues to evolve and improve, and I have been captivated by the market’s enthusiasm for our team. Now is the right time for me to join and contribute in my way in helping the organization continue growing from a contender into a Stanley Cup champion.”

Nashville’s ownership group remains largely comprised of local investors. And while Preds fans may remain wary of a Canadian owner, even a minority one, a cash injection could be just what the team needs to sign Ryan Suter and Shea Weber long term.

  1. bcjim - Nov 16, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    What is he doing? The robot dance? Karate?

  2. nhlbruins90 - Nov 16, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    Nash seems like a model for how to build a small market NHL franchise.

    • danphipps01 - Nov 17, 2011 at 3:42 AM

      Doesn’t it? Everyone tries to sell their franchise on big, exciting moves and big-name players and single-season results. You know, “For us, the time to win is now!” and all that. Problem is, that won’t actually work in today’s NHL and besides, if you don’t keep up a high level of performance over time the fans’ll vanish anyway. That’s only good for a temporary bandwagon of fair-weather types. The Preds have been a consistent contender for several years and their advertising and promotion of certain elements of fan culture really mesh well with the people of their city. By contrast, one wonders if the Jackets’ organization even knows what Columbus as a city is like or just sees them as a demographic. The Preds aren’t only good at management in a numbers sense, but in knowing the people they play in front of. That’s generally not present in the small franchises.

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