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Jeffrey Vinik Finalizes Agreement To Buy
Lightning From OK Hockey
Stars Owner Has Said He Will Consider
Selling Stake Of Team Or Entire Team
LINE CHANGE: Cogen Thursday said that he "envisions Hicks finding additional investors or selling his stake in the club by the beginning of next season." The Hockey News cited a source as saying that the CIT group, one of HSG's lenders, is "forcing Hicks to sell the club" (ESPNDALLAS.com, 2/4). The GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts cites an NHL source as saying that there are "four parties seriously interested in buying" the Stars -- one from the Dallas area and three "thought to be Canadian businessmen." One of the interested parties is Calgary-based Avenir Capital Corporation President Bill Gallacher, who "was in contact" with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "months ago and expressed his interest in the Stars." Shoalts notes the Stars will "fetch a much higher price than the Lightning," who reportedly are on the verge of being sold for about $170M to Jeffrey Vinik. The Stars "come with a half interest in an arena that makes a lot of money and they are in one of the largest markets in the United States, one that has shown it will support a decent team." A source indicated that the asking price will be greater than $300M (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/5).
CHANGE WILL DO YOU GOOD? In Dallas, Tim Cowlishaw writes Hicks selling the Stars can be "only good for Stars fans." With new ownership, the team "will be able to spend to the cap again and make off-ice decisions that aren't governed by Hicks' defaulting on loans for the Liverpool club." Hicks' financial woes have made him "powerless to help a struggling team today" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/5). However, ESPNDALLAS' Richard Durrett wrote, "Say what you want about Hicks, but he's been a good owner overall for the Stars. He spent big bucks to get key players and the Stars won a Stanley Cup on his watch. Missing the playoffs last year and not spending money this season can cloud the big picture. Overall, I think he's been good for this franchise" (ESPNDALLAS.com, 2/4).
Pacers Now Have "Fan-
Friendly" Ticket Prices
ESPNCHICAGO.com's Jesse Rogers noted Blackhawks Chair Rocky Wirtz Thursday during an appearance on ESPN Radio 1000 Chicago "held court on a myriad of topics from the trade deadline to his business strategies," and his "honesty as an owner is refreshing." Wirtz said that he "wasn't thrilled with the league scheduling regarding the recently completed eight-game, near coast-to-coast road trip." Wirtz: "You would think with computerized scheduling you could find another way to do that." He also addressed NHL participation in the Olympics and said, "From an ownership standpoint, in the middle of the season, we just as soon skip it. It doesn’t add any more to our sport" (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 2/4).
Paulson Holds First Official
Staff Meeting For Timbers
TIME TO MOVE ON? The PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE editorial staff in an open letter to Pirates Owner Bob Nutting wrote, "When you took over the Pirates, you talked about your commitment to win. It hasn't happened and, even with the latest clutch of young prospects, it's unlikely that 2010 will be a winning season." Change for the franchise "could come sooner if you were open to the reported offer" by Penguins co-Owners Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux. The editorial: "That's why you shouldn't dismiss an offer by the Penguins' co-owners out of hand. With their management smarts, superior finances and record of success, they could build this team into not only a sure winner but also one with staying power" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 2/4).
CAN'T YOU STAY A WHILE? NFL Network's Marshall Faulk, who played for the Rams from '99-'06, said he wishes co-Owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez would "keep the team." But Faulk added, "They understand that they’re not St. Louis people. And they want to be in LA where they have their families and lives. And it requires in situations like this, especially in cities like St. Louis, the owner has to live there. You have to be there, You just can’t visit. And they know that" (STLTODAY.com, 2/4).