SBD/July 11, 2011/Franchises

NHL Franchise Notes: Hulsizer Now Eyeing Bid For Blues

The GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts reported Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer is "taking a serious look at buying" the Blues. Hulsizer, who last month withdrew his longstanding offer to buy the Coyotes, "recently toured the Scottrade Center in St. Louis" with Blues Chair Dave Checketts. A source said that Hulsizer and Checketts are "discussing a price in the range" of $165-170M. A banking source said that the Blues' financial situation "is not in ideal condition," which means Hulsizer "is in position to drive a hard bargain." Shoalts noted a "sale to Hulsizer does not mean Checketts is out as a Blues owner." While Hulsizer "wants to be the majority owner, he is interested in keeping Checketts as a partner" (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/9).

HEALTH CONSCIOUS: Kings GM Dean Lombardi, contending that the Oilers "had twice misrepresented the health of a traded player, said Friday the Kings will 'look at our legal avenues' for a remedy." Lombardi said, "The bottom line for me, I would have rather invested my money with Bernie Madoff than invest in Edmonton's word." Lombardi balked at a recent trade for Oilers C Gilbert Brule after the Kings "determined Brule hadn't been procedurally cleared following a concussion." The Kings instead accepted C Colin Fraser from the Oilers and a "seventh-round pick in the 2012 entry draft without checking with legal counsel." Lombardi said that the Oilers "told him Fraser was days from being cleared after recovering from a fractured foot." But Lombardi noted that the Kings' doctors "found Fraser has a cyst in his foot and a blood disorder and will need surgery and four months' recovery" (L.A. TIMES, 7/9).

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE: In N.Y., Larry Brooks wrote under the header, "I'll Own Up: Rangers Aced Richards Deal." The Rangers signed C Brad Richards to a six-year deal, and Richards "left money on the table to sign." Brooks wrote, "This was the time to declare. It is not about getting younger every year, never has been. It is not about seven years down the road. It is about contending. It is about winning. Here is my definition of a good owner in New York: 1) He spends money as recommended by the general manager; 2) He does not meddle." James Dolan is a "good owner of a New York hockey team" (N.Y. POST, 7/10).

CALL OF THE WILD: In Minneapolis, Michael Russo noted Wild GM Chuck Fletcher "executed three deals 10 days apart" this offseason to "re-energize his fan base and locker room." Wild COO Matt Majka said that the team "has sold almost 400 season tickets since the draft -- a combination of new business and season-ticket holders the team thought it had lost." Majka said, "It's hard to remember the last time we felt this kind of excitement around the team" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/9).
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