SBD/April 27, 2011/Franchises

Tom Gaglardi Continues To Make Progress Toward Purchasing Stars

Gaglardi would likely have to take Stars through bankruptcy court
Tom Gaglardi "has agreed to a price and most of the terms for buying the Dallas Stars -- and if he can steer it through bankruptcy court with the bankers in charge of the sale, the Vancouver businessman will be the NHL team's new owner," according to David Shoalts of the GLOBE & MAIL. It is expected Gaglardi "will soon enter an exclusive negotiating period of roughly 30 days to complete the purchase of the NHL team" and 50% of American Airlines Center. A source said that the "last hurdle" is "taking the Stars through bankruptcy court so Gaglardi will not be hampered by any debts left by current owner Tom Hicks." The source said that declaring bankruptcy is "opposed by the NHL," but it is "viewed as a necessity because of the Stars' long list of creditors." Shoalts noted it is "hoped the sale can be completed by the end of May, but that is not certain as the bidders who lost out to Gaglardi in this round could resurface in bankruptcy court." NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly Monday "declined to clarify the situation." He said the source's information is "partially true and partially inaccurate" (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/26). ESPN DALLAS' Mark Stepneski cited a source as saying that the sale of the Stars "has picked up some momentum" and that Gaglardi "is the frontrunner to buy the team." Another source said that the Stars and Gaglardi "entered into an agreement to purse the negotiation of a sale," though there is "nothing binding on the sale." Stepneski noted there is "hope of a resolution of the sale by as early as late May," but there is "no guarantee of that." Gaglardi "tried to buy the Vancouver Canucks in 2004 and was rumored to be interested in the Atlanta Thrashers in 2009" (ESPNDALLAS.com, 4/26).

BLUE SKIES: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman Friday said that the league was "confident a buyer would be found for the Blues that would keep the team in St. Louis." The league is "coming off a sixth consecutive year of record revenue, the league's third-best attendance for a season and a new television contract with NBC and Versus," and Bettman said that those things "should help the market for a team such as the Blues." Bettman: "This is a good time to buy." Bettman added that the Blues "would miss" Chair Dave Checketts, who is selling his stake in the team. Bettman: "The Blues are better off because of him. He is a good owner and knows how to run a team. It is a shame it didn't work out with his investors" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/23).
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