PITTSBURGH, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Mario Lemieux, the hockey great turned team owner, said Thursday he is taking the Pittsburgh Penguins off the market and may move them to another state.
Lemieux said he will continue to work on a deal with Pittsburgh for a new arena, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. But he said that the collapse of an arena plan tied to a slots casino has convinced him that the Penguins must "take control of our own destiny."
"After seven years of trying to work out a new arena deal exclusively in Pittsburgh, we need to take into consideration the long-term viability of the team and begin discussions with other cities that may be interested in NHL teams," Lemieux, who owns a majority interest in the team, said in a statement.
Isle of Capri Casinos, a St. Louis company, had proposed opening a slots parlor in Pittsburgh that would have been part of a complex including a Penguins arena. But the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board decided Wednesday to award the city's only slots license to another company.