New York businessman Andy Murstein has lined up two prominent Western Pennsylvania natives and a local real-estate company to help him in his quest to buy the Penguins.
Murstein, who has described himself as a serious bidder for the NHL club, yesterday told ESPN Radio that billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former Pitt and Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino "are joining our group."
Also teamed with Murstein is Walnut Capital of Shadyside. Company president Todd Reidbord said a mutual friend lined up him and Murstein. Reidbord also grew up with Cuban in Mt. Lebanon.
It's not known whether the partnership would involve Cuban and Marino becoming minority investors or lending their names to the effort or both.
Asked by e-mail to outline his involvement, Cuban replied simply, "Just trying to help," and did not respond to a request for more details.
Reidbrod said those at Walnut Capital and Cuban are mostly interested in seeing that the Penguins remain in Pittsburgh.
If Murstein's group is successful in buying the Penguins, it's not likely that Cuban will become an animated fixture at games as he is with the Mavericks.
"His interest is to keep the team in Pittsburgh," Reidbord said. "His involvement won't be so much active."
Two spokespeople for Marino said he was not available for comment.
Murstein, president of Medallion Financial Corp. in New York, also was not available to elaborate. He has vowed to keep the team in town regardless of whether Penguins partner Isle of Capri gets a slots casino license and builds a new facility to replace Mellon Arena.
The sale price is expected to be between $150 million to $170 million, and it could happen before the start of the NHL season in October.
The Penguins repeatedly have declined comment on the sales process.
Shelly Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1721.