Bruce MacLeod, a Red Wings beat reporter for the Macomb Daily (a suburban Detroit newspaper), is reporting on his newspaper blog that, allegedly, OK Hockey has gone into default on it's loan from Palace Sports and Entertainmentt - the previous ownership group for the Tampa Bay Lightning. This news was part of a larger story concerning ownership issues with the Detroit Piston's franchise and Palace Sports and Entertainment in general. The widow of Bill Davidson (Late principle owner for the Lightning and Palace Sports and Entertainment) is looking to move assets under Palace Sports ownership -- or Palace Sports itself.
As for the Lightning, the report from MacLeod says:
The Palace source said that traditional financing is being sought so that the Pistons will be paid in full for the sale of the Lightning. That source also said that the NHL is setting a Feb. 15 deadline for finding new ownership.
The Lightning source, however, said that Tampa Bay ownership denies that it is working under a deadline.
Restructuring the Lightning ownership group with the addition of new capital is a possibility and one that the current Tampa Bay ownership would prefer. But the source said that: "The most likely scenario is a new owner. The League wants to expedite it."
There is enough from the source (being close to Auburn Hills, being a third party with no interest in Lightning gossip unlike the rumor-mongering from the Canadian press) that makes us take this report seriously.
We'll have more information as it becomes available.
[Note by John Fontana, 01/20/10 8:23 PM EST ] multiple edits since initial publication