Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Friday that he has told two groups interested in acquiring NHL franchises that Connecticut would be interested in providing a home, though not at the cost of building a new arena totally on the taxpayer’s dime.

“I have indicated time and time again we would be interested, although probably not at our sole expense,” Malloy said.

Malloy said the state is committed to spending at least $35 million on the XL Center in downtown Hartford to extend the useful life of the hockey and basketball arena for eight to 10 years.

UConn has joined Hockey East, one of the nation’s top hockey conferences, and will be playing some games at the XL, as will the minor-league Hartford Wolf Pack. The two teams can demonstrate Hartford’s interest in hockey, he said.

“We go forward,” he said. “No promises.”

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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