Report: Tom Gaglardi’s offer to buy Dallas Stars could exceed $250 million

While the Atlanta Spirit group are almost in liquidation mode to get rid of the Atlanta Thrashers, the Dallas Stars’ sale could exceed $250 million. Tom Gaglardi’s offer to buy the team might exceed that surprising mark, according to Mike Heika’s sources.

It’s important to note that this is far from a confirmed report and is nowhere near a done deal, but if the team sells for that much, it would make them the ninth most valuable team in the NHL (according to Heika).

Forbes.com valued the team at $227 million, which left them in 10th place, yet those reports didn’t account for the team’s estimated losses of $15 million this season. Keeping those factors in mind, the lenders preparing to sell the Stars must be elated about that potential haul.

It’s important to remember that there’s still plenty to be done before this sale could be completed. Here’s a little more background on the situation from Heika’s report.

Gaglardi is in the middle of a 30-day exclusive negotiating window, according to several team and league sources. It is expected to end in late May. At that time, lenders who own the Stars will be able to shop Gaglardi’s offer around to see if other potential buyers might want to exceed it.

Others who have been interested in buying the team are Dallas businessman Doug Miller, Dallas businessman Billy Quinn, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Calgary businessman Bill Gallacher. Miller, Quinn and Gallacher have declined comment, while Cuban has said he is mostly interested in the Stars so he can get full control of AAC.

The team will likely go through bankruptcy court, a subject we discussed in this post. Heika provided a little more insight on that bankruptcy process, though.

All involved are hoping they will be able to take care of any auction situation before moving into the courts, and that the bankruptcy hearing can be closed within three days, as the Chicago Cubs did in 2009.

The Rangers’ bankruptcy went through several days in court that spanned almost two months in the summer of 2010.

There’s one more interesting piece to the puzzle: the pending unrestricted free agent status of the team’s most valuable player, Brad Richards. Considering the likely demand for his elite playmaking skills, the Stars should probably show him that they have the stable ownership group necessary to put a competitive team on the ice.

Richards spoke about the latest ownership developments and shared his thoughts about free agency (which begins on July 1) on NHL Live.

“Right now there is no deadline in sight because July 1 is so far away,” Richards said. “It’s try to get my body back to normal, relax and think things over and give it a chance over there in Dallas to see what happens with ownership. It sounds like things are moving a little bit right now. We’ll see. Sometimes you hear things differently than what’s actually happening. At least there is some movement and talk.”

(snip)

“The main thing will be talking to my family and trying to win,” he said. “It’s been too long since I had that chance to win the Stanley Cup. I kind of thought we’d have a couple more cracks at it by now. That will be the main focus. If Dallas is the place where I think they can win then that’s the place and hopefully it can work out. We’ll see what happens.”

Perhaps Richards provided the operative phrase in this situation: “We’ll see what happens.”

Ducks deny rally, end Penguins’ winning streak

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When Ondrej Kase cashed in on another breakaway opportunity for the Ducks to make it 4-1 in the second period, it looked like that goal would be icing on the cake for Anaheim. Even if it would be especially pretty frosting.

Instead, that stylish goal ended up being critical, as the Pittsburgh Penguins nearly rallied in the third period to at least send Wednesday’s game to overtime. John Gibson ended up holding down the fort, and with an empty-netter in the dying seconds, the Ducks ended up beating the Penguins 5-3.

You could call it a game of periods and close calls.

The Penguins entered the first intermission thanks to a 1-0 Evgeni Malkin goal, but the Ducks dominated the middle frame with their first four-goal period of 2017-18. The Penguins’ prolific power play helped them stay in the game (2-for-4, with both goals coming during that third-period comeback bid), but the rally fell short. Pittsburgh’s winning streak ended at four victories.

Some bounces went both ways, as Antoine Vermette nearly scored for the Ducks while Carl Hagelin suffered a near-miss. So maybe those missed opportunities cancel each other out?

From the Ducks’ perspective, this is the latest argument in favor of this team being a threat now that key pieces have returned to the lineup. This win begins what they hope is a successful five-game homestand, as Anaheim still needs to battle for its own playoff hopes.

The Penguins can’t ruminate on this loss for very long. They head to Los Angeles to face what must be a frustrated Kings team (four straight defeats, only two wins in their last eight games) on Thursday, with little reason to expect any mercy.

This last stretch of wins improved the Penguins’ outlook, but dropping games in back-to-back nights could make things tense again in a hurry. You can check out that Penguins – Kings game on NBCSN Thursday.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Willie O’Ree celebrates 60th anniversary of debut with Bruins

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BOSTON (AP) Hockey pioneer Willie O’Ree was honored in Boston on Wednesday on the 60th anniversary of the Bruins forward breaking the NHL’s color barrier.

At a news conference at the TD Garden before the Bruins game against the Montreal Canadiens, Mayor Marty Walsh declared Jan. 18, 2018 to be “Willie O’Ree Day”. O’Ree made his debut in 1958 during a 3-0 victory against the Canadiens at the Forum in Montreal.

Walsh called O’Ree a Boston legend who changed the city for the better and thanked him for his courage. As part of the celebration, the city dedicated a new street hockey rink in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood to be known as Willie O’Ree Rink.

A native of Canada, O’Ree, 82, had four goals and 10 assists in 45 games over parts of two NHL seasons. He spent a total of 21 years in pro hockey.

For the past two decades, O’Ree has served as the NHL’s Diversity Ambassador, spreading the message that hockey is for everyone.

More AP NHL hockey at https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

Bruins cruise vs. Canadiens in Julien’s return to Boston

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Don’t blame Claude Julien if Wednesday made him think of better times, and not just because it was his welcome back night in Boston.

Coming into this one, it was a tale of two teams going in opposite directions, and the teams stuck to their scripts. The Boston Bruins remain red-hot with a 4-1 win, while the Montreal Canadiens are mired in mediocrity .. or worse?

When you’re as disappointing as the Canadiens have been, plenty of things are going wrong. It was a weak start even with a 1-0 lead and 1-1 first period in mind, and it obviously didn’t get any better.

Nights like these have to sting for Julien, a coach known for his sophisticated systems and eye for defensive detail.

There are questions about Max Pacioretty possibly being trade bait. People wonder if Jonathan Drouin or Alex Galchenyuk fit as centers, or if neither work that way. Yet, these performances make you realize that as exasperated as management must be, they may also appreciate more specific distractions.

Because, frankly, this was a team … non-effort.

Then again, the Bruins are a red-hot squad, so maybe they shine an especially harsh light on the Habs’ haplessness?

Boston generated a 32-22 shots on goal advantage in this one, with multiple contributors stepping up. Big guns came through (Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak were among the goal scorers, Patrice Bergeron collected two assists), while David Backes and others added to the fun.

It was the kind of effort Julien would have been very happy with, if it didn’t come at his expense.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

WATCH LIVE: Pittsburgh Penguins at Anaheim Ducks

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PROJECTED LINEUPS

Pittsburgh Penguins

Dominik SimonSidney Crosby — Daniel Sprong

Carl HagelinEvgeni MalkinPatric Hornqvist

Conor ShearyJake GuentzelPhil Kessel

Tom KuhnhacklRiley SheahanRyan Reaves

Brian DumoulinKris Letang

Olli MaattaJustin Schultz

Matt HunwickJamie Oleksiak

Starting goalie: Tristan Jarry

[NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: Canadiens vs. Bruins; Penguins vs. Ducks]

Ducks

Rickard RakellRyan GetzlafCorey Perry

Derek GrantRyan KeslerJakob Silfverberg

Nick RitchieAdam HenriqueOndrej Kase

Chris WagnerAntoine VermetteJ.T. Brown

Cam FowlerKevin Bieksa

Hampus LindholmJosh Manson

Francois BeaucheminBrandon Montour

Starting goalie: John Gibson