Is Ryan Reynolds’ Wrexham A.F.C. ownership a pre-cursor for the Senators?

Rob McElhenney, left, and Ryan Reynolds in a scene from the docuseries "Welcome to Wrexham," which follows them as they takeover the lower-league Welsh soccer team Wrexham AFC. (AP)

If a dance routine was enough to inspire Ryan Reynolds to buy a soccer team, what might it take for him to wrap his arms around the Ottawa Senators?

A report this week in People Magazine quoted a source close to Reynolds saying the Canadian movie star is “very interested” in purchasing the Ottawa Senators, who are in the early stages of having new ownership following the passing of Eugene Melnyk in March.

Reynolds being enticed by the idea of owning a hockey team is somewhat intuitive. After all, he’s a Vancouver kid who grew up with the highs and lows of rooting for the Canucks — and even spent part of his childhood in the Ottawa neighbourhood of Vanier.

The tale of how he came to own the Welsh soccer team Wrexham A.F.C., though, is pretty incredible.

Speaking to The Athletic this past summer, Reynolds explained the genesis of how he and fellow actor Rob McElhenney came to be involved with the fifth-division club.

In 2018, Reynolds watched the Season 13 finale of the anything-goes sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia — a show McElhenney created and stars in — which concludes with McElhenney completely going for it in an extended contemporary dance sequence that required half a year’s worth of training and choreography.

Reynolds was gobsmacked.

“As I’ve gotten older I’ve really grown into a place where, when I see someone doing something that’s amazing, or something that I just love and appreciate, regardless of outcome, I just like to let him know,” he told The Athletic.

“Rob had done a sequence on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia that I just thought, pound for pound, was one of the most beautiful three minutes I’d ever seen, on this show that he’d obviously created and worked on for so many years.”

Believe it or not, that started a correspondence with McElhenney that culminated with the pair using their considerable resources to purchase Wrexham, one of the oldest continually running soccer clubs in the world in February of 2021.

The squad finished second in what’s known as the National League in England during its first season with R R McReynolds Company at the helm, improving from eighth the season prior in 2020-21 and 20th in 2019-20.

Wrexham is currently second in the table with a 12-3-2 record and its first FA Cup match is slated for Sunday versus Oldham Athletic.

Naturally, given who owns the team now, there’s a showbiz element to this endeavour, too. The documentary Welcome to Wrexham is currently streaming in Canada on Disney+.

Who knows, maybe if Reynolds ever comes to own the Senators, we’ll suddenly be spending some behind-the-scenes time with Brady Tkachuk at breakfast or Claude Giroux playing mini-stick with his kids in the basement.

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