Dallas Stars on the brink of being sold… Or are they?

Thumbnail image for Hicks2.jpgThe Hockey News’ Ken Campbell put a charge into things around the hockey world today saying that the Dallas Stars were on the verge of being sold to Canadian oilman Bill Gallacher for $225 million. Not only would the sale involve Gallacher but also a host of other wealthy guys, including one man who’s already kind of a big deal in Dallas.

THN.com has learned Calgary oilman Bill Gallacher, who also owns the Portland Winterhawks of the Western League, heads up a group of investors that has reached an agreement in principle to buy the Dallas Stars for about $225 million. The deal has yet to be signed and either side could back out of it, but it appears the deal will get done soon.

One possible scenario has Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban jumping back into the fray. Cuban was reportedly turned off by the $350 million price being asked by Hicks, but might be enticed by a much lower price. Owning the Stars would effectively give Cuban 100 percent of the revenues generated at the American Airlines Center, one of the busiest venues in North America. Currently co-tenants in the arena, the Mavericks and Stars split arena revenues 50-50, including non-sports events such as concerts.

I don’t know about you, but if Mark Cuban were to get involved at NHL Board of Governors meetings or start showing up to Stars games in full gear while yelling at the referees I’d watch every single Stars home game just waiting to see Cuban lose his mind over everything. Nevermind that Cuban was shot down by the NHL Board of Governors years ago when he tried to get involved in buying the Pittsburgh Penguins, jumping in as a minority buyer would surely pass muster…

That is if this report were totally locked in as being accurate. Take it away Five For Fighting.

I talked to two NHL sources and they say that The Hockey News report that Bill Gallacher has agreed to buy the Stars for $225 million is not accurate.
They say the sale process is ongoing and that Gallacher is a candidate to buy the team, but that they have not gotten as far in the process of agreeing to a price with any buyer. One said the reported price was too low.

More than $225 million for an NHL team? That’s the kind of mad money that only Jim Balsillie would throw around. Of course, if eager-to-sell-and-hide Stars owner Tom Hicks is insistent that he get $350 million for the Stars, he might be waiting around for a long, long time. At some point, if you’re eager to sell, you just have to cut your losses and get out but Hicks is a better businessman than I am for probably a few reasons. Then again, I also don’t own the Texas Rangers and Liverpool Football Club either so what do I know?

For Stars fans, if this initial report from Ken Campbell happens to be not true, the hockey fans in Dallas are going to go ballistic because while grown up men are fighting over hundreds of millions of dollars, the team is in a funky brand of limbo. They’ve got some players they’d like to move for salary reasons (Mike Ribeiro) and at least one restricted free agent they’d like to get locked down under contract (James Neal).

Meanwhile, general manager Joe Nieuwendyk can’t really do anything overly drastic without knowing what he can do financially to appease ownership. Obviously, the sooner things get taken care of it’ll be better for the team but until then, the waiting continues.

Update:

Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News adds this soul-crushing update to the Mark Cuban possibilities.

By the way, Mark Cuban’s e-mail response when I asked if he was indeed interested was: “not me, no idea who.”

Well that stinks.

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    WATCH LIVE: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Yes, the Philadelphia Flyers’ playoff hopes are basically squashed, but Sunday should provide plenty of motivation: giving the Pittsburgh Penguins grief.

    The two rivals will face off on NBCSN tonight with the Penguins hoping to improve their situation in the three-team Metropolitan race for the division crown (and, failing that, at least one round of home-ice advantage).

    The Penguins must fight injuries and a cross-state rival. There should be plenty of talent on the ice, too, so this should be a fun one.

    You can watch on NBCSN, online and via the NBC Sports App.

    Click here for the livestream.

    Video: Doc Emrick takes a look back at Joe Louis Arena memories

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    Sunday’s overtime win against the Wild wasn’t the last hurrah for the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, but that time is rapidly approaching.

    The Red Wings have four more dates at the historic building:

    April 1: vs. Maple Leafs
    April 3: vs. Senators
    April 8: vs. Canadiens
    April 9: vs. Devils

    With the playoffs out of reach, Red Wings fans must grapple with the end of an era.

    To help with that cause, Mike “Doc” Emrick narrated a great look back at Joe Louis Arena, which you can enjoy in the video above.

    And, if it helps make the future look a little rosier, take a look at highlights from Sunday’s victory.

    Goalie nods: Henrik Lundqvist returns for Rangers

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    After missing nearly three weeks due to a lower body injury, Henrik Lundqvist will be back in net for the New York Rangers on Sunday night when the team visits the Anaheim Ducks.

    Coach Alain Vigneault already said that Lundqvist is expected to start two of the three games on this west coast trip, and after Antti Raanta started and recorded the shutout in Los Angeles on Saturday night it seems that Lundqvist will finish the trip with starts against the Ducks and then again on Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks.

    Lundqvist has not played since March 7 when he stopped 43 out of 45 shots in a win over the Florida Panthers.

    It was that game that Lundqvist suffered the injury that kept him out of the lineup.

    Raanta played every game for the Rangers during his absence and continued what has been a strong season as Lundqvist’s primary backup, but if the Rangers are going to have a chance in the postseason they are not only going to need a healthy Lundqvist, but to also have him playing at the level he has been playing at over the past couple of months. Since the beginning of February Lundqvist has recorded a .931 save percentage in his 14 appearances for the Rangers.

    Speaking of the postseason, the Rangers can clinch a spot in the playoffs on Sunday night with a win over the Ducks.

    No official word from the Ducks on their starter on Sunday, but look for Jonathan Bernier to get an opportunity to continue his recent hot streak.

    Elsewhere on Sunday…

    — It was Devan Dubnyk going against Jimmy Howard in the early NBC game between the Minnesota Wild and Detroit Red Wings.

    Keith Kinkaid gets the start at home for the New Jersey Devils when they go against the Dallas Stars, who will be countering with Kari Lehtonen.

    Matt Murray goes for the Pittsburgh Penguins when they host their cross-state rivals the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers went with Michal Neuvirth on Saturday so look for Steve Mason on Sunday.

    Michael Hutchinson will be in net for the Winnipeg Jets when they host the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have not announced their starter, but after Richard Bachman got the start on Saturday it should be Ryan Miller in net for this one.

    Wild’s struggles continue with OT loss to Red Wings

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    Well, the good news for the Minnesota Wild is Sunday’s game in Detroit wasn’t anywhere near as embarrassing as their game on Saturday. They were at least competitive in this and took the game to overtime to earn a point in the standings.

    The bad news is the result was pretty much the same — another loss in the standings.

    Thanks to Andreas Athanasiou‘s 17th goal of the season 1:52 into the overtime period, the Red Wings were 3-2 winners on Sunday afternoon, sending the Wild to their 11th loss in 14 games this month.

    The game continues Minnesota’s late-season collapse that has seen the team lose its stranglehold on the Central Division and play some of its worst hockey of the season with the playoffs just around the corner. They have collected just seven out of a possible 28 points in the standings this month and still sit seven points back of the Chicago Blackhawks for the top spot in the division after Sunday. The Wild led the division by five points at the start of the month.

    As bad as another loss is, this was far from the Wild’s worst game during this recent stretch. They limited Detroit to just 19 shots on goal, they had their chances to win it. But at the end of the day nobody in Minnesota wants to hear that right now because it’s still a loss, and it still looks like a team that is struggling to find answers on the ice. Not really the type of thing you want to see at this time of year.

    Minnesota actually entered the third period with a 2-1 lead but let it slip away early in the period on a Tomas Tatar power play goal 55 seconds in. The Wild had their share of chances late in the game only to have Jimmy Howard make a couple of huge stops on Eric Staal and Jason Zucker in the final minute.

    Staal did score his 26th goal of the season earlier in the game to give the Wild a 1-0 lead.

    As for the Red Wings, the win is their fourth in their past six games (and the fifth with at least a point during that stretch) while Henrik Zetterberg continued his recent strong play recording another assist.

    Defenseman Mike Green also scored in the win.