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1/9/2007 10:05:10 AM

With Kansas City already in the running to land the Pittsburgh Penguins, three more cities have thrown their hats in the ring.

Reports indicate Oklahoma City Blazers owner Bob Funk plans on inviting the Penguins ownership group to the Ford Center next week while sources say Houston and Portland are also interested in landing the NHL team.

''We've always had an interest in the NHL or anything that contributes to Oklahoma City or the Oklahoma environment,'' Funk told The Oklahoman newspaper. ''I think the NHL has a good future.''

Currently, Oklahoma City plays host to the NBA's New Orleans Hornets, who were displaced following the Hurricane Katrina disaster. But the Hornets may be returning to New Orleans next season, leaving the Ford Center without a major league tenant. The Blazers play in the Central Hockey League.

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