SBD/November 14, 2011/Franchises

NHL Franchise Notes: Blues, Hulsizer Still Working Out Details Of Sale

In St. Louis, Jeremy Rutherford cited sources as saying that the Blues and prospective owner Matthew Hulsizer are "still working to complete" a deal for the team. Two weeks after sources confirmed that a purchase agreement had been signed, "neither Hulsizer nor the team has acknowledged the deal publicly." It is believed that a formal announcement is "pending because of contingencies in the deal that need to be satisfied, specifically the financing." Sources said that Hulsizer "would have 70 percent control of the club under the agreement, while Blues chairman Dave Checketts would hold the remaining 30 percent, although Checketts would be an investor and have no hand in hockey operations." Sources added that Checketts' investment "needed to close the deal is $20 million," and if that "would entitle him to 30 percent of the Blues, it suggests that the total equity in the deal is about $60 million." Sources said that if Hulsizer's deal with the Blues "doesn't come to fruition," a local group led by Blues minority owner Tom Stillman "remains interested in buying the team" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/12).

HAVING HIS SAY: In Boston, Stephen Harris noted U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is "doing what he can to try and keep the Coyotes in Phoenix," and that mostly "means talking." After dropping the first puck for the Canadiens-Coyotes game Thursday at Arena, he "ripped into the Goldwater Institute, the conservative group that has so far blocked the sale of the team." McCain: "I’ve never seen such arrogance. When an organization like the Goldwater Institute, elected by nobody, representing nobody maybe some very wealthy donors, makes a decision like they did and it’s harmful to the economy to the state of Arizona, then I do weigh in" (BOSTON HERALD, 11/13).

WORKING TOGETHER: The Maple Leafs have agreed to a development deal with the Zurich Lions of the Swiss Elite League. The teams will exchange ideas on coaching, player development, roster management, social media, ticketing and security. Zurich also will gather information from the Maple Leafs on potentially building a new arena in Switzerland (Maple Leafs).
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