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Dark Clouds Hover Over Tampa Bay Lightning Co-Owner Len Barrie's Buyout

MONTREAL, QC - JUNE 26: Len Barrie of the Tampa Bay Lightning photographed during the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft at the Bell Centre on June 26, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
----- -----------Correspondent ISeptember 2, 2009

Details are starting to emerge about a buyout in Tampa Bay.

Oren Koules is wrapping up his proposal to buy out Len Barrie as co-owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and will present it to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman by, what he hopes to be, the end of this week.

It's reported that Koules is receiving his financing from Detroit Pistons owner Bill Davidson to absorb the 35 percent share of the franchise that Len Barrie currently owns. 

Only bad news has emerged out of Tampa Bay as the two are frequently reported to be combative and in non-agreement about day-to-day operations as to how the franchise should be operated; it became evident that as co-owners this relationship would not last. 

Koules, citing a gag order imposed by Bettman on the situation, declined to comment. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly also declined to comment.

As far as this goes, right now it could be Barrie would be out as co-owner in the near future, but without details on a timeline, it's hard to tell. Barrie is actively seeking his own method to be bought out by dealing with Anthony Sansone Jr., a real-estate developer based out of St. Louis.

Rumors out of those deals state that Barrie actively told Bettman that this buyout method would not work, but details as to the specifics aren't clear enough to accurately state the progression of that path.

Barrie had the following to say, "Well, I haven’t pulled out yet." He added that he is “still dealing with the guy from St. Louis,” as well as “a couple other groups.”

This news comes out after reports that claim that Barrie misappropriated funds from the Bear Mountain Resort, potentially embezzling $2.5 million to buy his share of the Lightning.

These reports come from the former auditor of the Resort.

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