Keith Tkachuk, Dave Checketts

Checketts announces the Blues are for sale

If you have a couple hundred million dollars lying around and are interested in buying an NHL team, you’re in luck. It’s turning into a buyer’s market. We all know the Phoenix Coyotes have been trying to complete a sale for almost two years, the Atlanta Thrashers are actively seeking buyers, Tom Hicks is looking to sell the Dallas Stars, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is looking for someone to buy their 66% ownership in the Maple Leafs, and now, the St. Louis Blues are on the market as well.

Blues President Dave Checketts, who owns 20% of the franchise, has been working to find investors for 70% of the franchise that is owned by TowerBrook Capital Partners. They’ve wanted out for about a year, but unfortunately Checketts has been unable to find any potential owners to fill the void. Now, instead of finding investors for 70% of the team (and Scottrade Center lease), he’s turning his focus to selling off his 20% as well.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has Checketts’ thoughts:

“Until it ends, until we find a ‘Mr. Wonderful’ to come along, somebody that can take this over and push it along, I’m going to continue to push this franchise to be the best,” Checketts said. “I’m going to keep on everybody and keep pushing to make the team better and come back strong. I feel good about where we’re headed.”


“I’m very proud of what we accomplished here,” Checketts said. “The Scottrade Center is filled for every game. Blues fans love their team. We have some terrific young players in place. We have an outstanding management team to take the franchise into the future.

“I don’t like being a 12-place team. But better days are ahead.

“But I can no longer be a buyer. For I have to tell the world ‘Folks, it’s for sale.’ And they ought to come in and look at it, because it is a respectable and healthy NHL team and in a great city. What I want to do now, what I have to do, is to make sure to find someone with the same passion and commitment that I do.”

That means there are currently five NHL teams out there looking for “Mr. Wonderful.” But before fans in Saskatoon or Quebec City start saving for Blues season tickets, this situation is different than the Atlanta and Phoenix situations. The Blues have deeper roots in the community—both with sponsors and with their fan base. As Checketts said, the team has sold out every game this season and by all accounts is a healthy franchise with decades of tradition.

As it stands today, yet another team is for sale. And this time, it’s being sold by an owner who really doesn’t want to sell. At least that part of the story is different.

Vigneault: ‘After three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention’

Alain Vigneault
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Alain Vigneault has maintained for much of the season that the New York Rangers needed to play better.

The head coach said it a week ago, after the Blueshirts had beaten the Predators, 3-0, despite getting outshot, 31-19.

He’d said it a couple of weeks before that, after they’d beaten the Hurricanes in very similar fashion. (Final score: 3-0. Shots: 33-23 for Carolina.)

But as long as the Rangers kept winning, it was tough, according to Vigneault, to get the message across.

“Sometimes, the results might be going your way, so when you’re pointing out certain things, it might be a little bit more challenging for them to understand because the results are so positive,” Vigneault said, per the New York Post.

“But after three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention.”

Derek Stepan‘s injury — he’ll miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs — has no doubt captured their attention as well. (Oscar Lindberg will center Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast tonight at home to Carolina.)

The Rangers also play Wednesday, in Brooklyn against the Islanders (on NBCSN).

Benn, Holtby and Galchenyuk are NHL’s three stars of the week

Cory Schneider, Alex Galchenyuk ,
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Stars winger Jamie Benn, Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.


Benn shared the League lead in goals (4) and points (6) as the Stars (19-5-0, 38 points) won two of three games to continue their best start to a season in the franchise’s 48-year history.

Holtby posted a 4-0-0 record with a 1.75 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Capitals (17-5-1, 35 points) to the top of the Metropolitan Division standings.

Galchenyuk tied for first in the NHL with four goals and added one assist to help the Canadiens (18-4-3, 39 points) earn five of a possible six points and reclaim first place in the League standings.

As much as the injuries to Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher have been frustrating for the Canadiens, those are short-term issues that should be forgotten soon enough. Galchenyuk’s play, in contrast, is reason for long-term optimism. The 21-year-old is trending towards becoming the elite No. 1 center the Habs have needed so badly. He’s not there yet, but when’s all said and done, he could turn out to be the best forward (or player, period) taken in the 2012 draft.

Stepan to miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs


Derek Stepan is out 4-6 weeks with broken ribs, the New York Rangers announced today.

Stepan was hurt Friday on a controversial hit by Boston’s Matt Beleskey. The Bruins’ forward did not receive any supplemental discipline for the check, despite admitting it was “maybe…a little bit late.”

At any rate it’s a big loss for the Rangers, who suddenly find themselves on a three-game losing streak. Considering the timeline, New York could be without one of its top centers for 12-18 games, give or take.

The Rangers host Carolina tonight.

Related: Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’

Price to miss minimum six weeks, so no Winter Classic for him

Carey Price,
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Carey Price will miss a minimum of six weeks with a lower-body injury, the Montreal Canadiens announced today.

That means Price will miss the Winter Classic against the Bruins on New Year’s Day. The 28-year-old goalie has only appeared in 12 games this season.

On the bright side, the reigning Hart Trophy winner will not require surgery. And considering the Habs have already built up a 13-point playoff cushion in the standings, well, if something like this were going to happen during the season, now is as good a time as any.

Related: The latest on Price’s injury