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Locals to miss Halloween deadline, but not by much

The following statement was released this afternoon by the legal counsel to David Freeman's Venture 36 Capital group, the local investors who are seeking to purchase the Nashville Predators from Craig Leipold:

NASHVILLE - "The local ownership group can only worry about what we can control. Right now, what we can control is our continued work with the Mayor and his team.

We have presented what we believe is a specific framework that achieves the goals of keeping a viable hockey team in Nashville and respecting the needs of the City. It is our hope to complete this part of the process by this Friday and then deal with scheduling a full and complete public airing of the agreement.

At the end of the day, it will be the collaborative effort of the Mayor, the Vice Mayor, the Council, and the Sports Authority that keeps this opportunity from slipping through our fingers.”

If they can indeed strike a deal by this Friday, then the Metro Council needs at least seven days notice before they would consider the lease adjustments, so the earliest that lease approval could come would be November 2nd, and that's a best-case scenario.

The question now becomes what happens to the current October 31 deadline between the local investors and Craig Leipold. Will Leipold pocket the $10 million deposit and work on another deal with Boots Del Biaggio or Jim Balsillie? Or, if civic approval is mere days away, does he continue to work with the Freeman group and push things to conclusion in early November?

One sign may be that Leipold has put his downtown Nashville condo on the market, so perhaps he, too, senses that the deal with Freeman is nearly ready to close. As always, we're left to speculate based on public proclamations and incomplete information. Hey, at least it takes our minds off that 6-game losing streak for a while, doesn't it?

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