NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Nashville Predators owner Craig Leipold has asked the NHL to hold off its consideration of a deal to sell the team to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie.
Leipold wants to have a binding agreement on the sale with Balsillie, the co-CEO of Blackberry makers Research in Motion Ltd., before the league further considers the transaction.
"We did send the NHL a letter today requesting that it not do any further due diligence on Jim Balsillie's offer for the Nashville Predators until we reach a binding agreement," Leipold said in a statement Friday evening. "If Jim is interested in reaching a binding agreement, we are prepared to move forward."
Leipold announced May 24 he was selling the team to Balsillie after 10 years of losing money on the franchise. Leipold and Balsillie have agreed to a term sheet for the transfer of ownership of the club, but that is nonbinding.
A lack of binding agreement prevented the NHL's board of governors from voting on the Predators sale on Wednesday, and the board isn't scheduled to meet again until the fall. Any deal likely won't be approved before next season.
Balsillie has already started a process to move the Predators to Hamilton, Ontario, should a potential out in the team's lease with the arena in Nashville be exercised after the sale's completion.