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Bill Haslam reaches deal to become Predators owner

John Russell / National Hockey League / Getty

Nashville Predators chairman Herb Fritch has agreed to sell the majority of his ownership stake to former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, the team announced Friday.

Pending approval from the organization and the league, Haslam will become minority owner over the next few months and majority owner within a few years through a multi-phased purchase.

"The pending addition of Gov. Haslam to the ownership group solidifies that local stewardship for years to come, with the shared philosophy for making Smashville the most unique sports market in our league and country as our players and coaches compete for the Stanley Cup each season," team president and CEO Sean Henry said.

"We are excited and appreciative that he has agreed to join the ownership team."

The Predators have 16 members in their ownership group, led by Fritch.

Haslam is also the former mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee. He used to own the Tennessee Smokies, a minor-league baseball franchise.

Haslam's brother, Jim, owns the NFL's Cleveland Browns.

Bill Haslam reaches deal to become Predators owner
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