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Greg Wyshynski

Nashville Predators co-owner owes more than $35 million

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Federally investigated Nashville Predators co-owner William "Boots" Del Biaggio III owes almost $35 million more than he's worth, according to court filings reported in the San Jose Mercury News. Oh, it gets better: Los Angeles Kings owner Philip Anschutz and Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold, two of Gary Bettman's closest ownership allies in the League, lent Boots a combined $17 million to help fund his $25 million stake in the Preds -- without telling Bettman, according to Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star. (Check out the Bobby Orr/Rick DiPietro news item at the end of the Westhead piece ... yikes.)

So, in summary: A man that was allowed to buy into an NHL franchise lists his current income as "zero" and monthly expenses at $32,320. Which would seem like a bit of a cash-flow problem. Hey, Target's always hiring.

Combine this with Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli pleading guilty to a felony count of lying to the SEC and two knuckleheads taking over in Tampa, and it's been, like, the best week ever for NHL suits. Tom Benjamin might be on to something: A few of these NHL owners may not be "just a bunch of honest businessmen" after all.

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