I have received word from a good source that Craig Leipold is meeting Gary Bettman on Wednesday morning in New York, along with representatives from the potential local ownership group.Frankly I'd be a little surprised to see Hockeybuzz scoop the Nashville Post on this, as they've regularly been in the lead on this story. If true, however, this will certainly add fuel to what will be an energy-filled rally on Thursday at the Sommet Center to support the team. While the due diligence process will surely take weeks or months (meaning new money won't be available for summer free agents), a binding agreement with a local ownership group would be a huge boost for local hockey fans who have had to endure an uncomfortable summer so far.
According to the source, Leipold is planning on signing a letter of intent to sell the franchise, either to the local group or to "Boots" Del Biaggio at this meeting. Given that members of the Nashville group will be accompanying Mr. Leipold to New York, one can assume that Kansas City will have to wait a little longer for the team that they quite possibly have been promised.
UPDATE: The Tennessean is also running this story, with the clarification that this step would precede the signing of an actual binding agreement. One would have to think that the local group would move much more smoothly through this process than Jim Balsillie's ramrod attempt did.