After months of haggling with the city of Glendale and the Goldwater Institute in attempts to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes, Matthew Hulsizer has finally moved onto a new potential franchise. David Shoalts of The Globe and Mail in Toronto is reporting Hulsizer is taking a “serious look” at the St. Louis Blues. The Blues have been looking for investors for nearly two years. In May, Dave Checketts announced the team was officially on the market.
There’s a team on the market. It’s pretty well established that Hulsizer’s in the market for a team as well. So what took these two so long to find one another? Here are the specifics from Shoalts’ article:
“A source familiar with the Blues situation said Hulsizer is discussing a price in the range of $165-million to $170-million (all currency U.S.) with Checketts. The Blues chairman said earlier this week he was given an extension on a $120-million loan with Citigroup Inc., that would give him more time to sell the team.”
It’s important to note the differences between this situation and the failed deal in Phoenix, Glendale. In Phoenix, Hulsizer was working towards an arrangement where taxpayers would pay him for operating Jobing.com Arena (which is owned by the city of Glendale). In essence, the city was subsidizing Hulsizer for buying the team.
He’s not going to get the same sweetheart deal in St. Louis. There will be substantially less bureaucratic red tape to deal with—but the trade off is that he’ll have to pay much more money out of pocket for the honor of owning an NHL team. At least we know the NHL would approve Hulsizer in the event of a future purchase.
This is only the first step for Hulsizer—he’s interested. Next, he and Dave Checketts will have to work towards a financial deal that makes sense for both sides. If they can do that, then they’ll get to start the actual sales process. The good news is that the Blues have finally found someone who is interested and has deep enough pockets to make the deal happen.
Hopefully their isn’t a Goldwater Institute satellite office in Missouri.
From the NHL:
Pretty veteran crew, including three returnees from last year’s final.
Per the NHL, O’Halloran and O’Rourke will call tonight’s series opener from Consol.
PITTSBURGH — When Pete DeBoer was hired to coach the San Jose Sharks, he wasn’t totally cognizant of how much heartbreak the fan base had experienced throughout the years.
Now he knows.
“First year in the community, I didn’t realize kind of the baggage that was carried around,” DeBoer said this morning ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. “Twenty-five-year season-ticket holders coming up to you with tears in their eyes and crying.”
The Sharks, of course, have never been this far in the playoffs. Prior to this year, they’d made it three times to the Western Conference Final, losing each time.
More painful were the first-round exits. Like in 2009 when they won the Presidents’ Trophy and got knocked out by the Ducks, and two years ago when they led the Kings 3-0 before dropping four straight.
It was only after the Sharks beat the Blues that DeBoer fully realized the “gravity of what they’ve been through” as fans in San Jose, and “how important this is to them.”
Not that he’s satisfied with getting this far.
“The business at hand now is to get off on the right foot, plant the right seeds for this series, impose our game,” he said. “Every series is the same — it’s whatever team can impose their game on the other team the quickest and for the longest. That’s our goal here tonight.”
Related: For Pete DeBoer, San Jose was the perfect landing spot
Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar will spend part of his offseason trying to help Slovenia qualify for the Olympics.
RTV Slovenia has the story here.
The qualification games will be played September 1-4 in Minsk. Slovenia is in a group with Belarus, Denmark and Poland. The winner of the group will qualify for the Olympics.
The NHL reportedly has no issue with Kopitar’s participation, even though the league has yet to commit to sending its players to Pyeongchang.
Slovenia made its Olympic debut in ice hockey at the 2014 Games in Sochi.
Kopitar will also represent Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup later in September.
Related: Slovenia beats Slovakia for historic win
PITTSBURGH — Matt Nieto is healthy, and ready to go.
But it doesn’t look like he’ll go tonight.
The San Jose Sharks are unlikely to make any lineup changes for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in Pittsburgh — at Monday’s optional morning skate, Nieto stayed out late with the extras while the guy he’d (presumably) replace in the lineup, Dainius Zubrus, told NHL.com he was in.
Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer wouldn’t reveal any lineup decisions during his morning media availability, instead talking up both Nieto (for his speed) and Zubrus (for his “heavy” game), adding he liked the versatility the two give the club on a night-by-night basis.
Nieto suffered an upper-body injury in Game 6 of the Nashville series, and missed all of the Western Conference Final.
Prior to getting hurt, he had three points in 11 games — this after a regular season in which he scored eight goals and 17 points in 67 games.