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Bankruptcy court approves Dallas Stars’ bidding process

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Dallas Stars fans can be forgiven if they look back at Sept. 22, 2011 as a day in which the franchise closed the book on a major chapter in its history and turned the page to a new era.

Earlier today, we passed along the heartwarming news that the team honored its retired franchise centerpiece Mike Modano by signing him to a symbolic one-day contract, making sure that he retires as a Dallas Star. While the team completely waved goodbye to that error with that kind gesture, the franchise has reason to look forward to a brighter future for the first time in years.

That’s because their ownership situation is getting less and less murky. The team received the green light to exist in a “business as usual” state despite filing for bankruptcy earlier this week and today marked another important court date. Various sources report that the same U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware approved the bidding procedures proposed by the Stars, the NHL and potential new owner Tom Gaglardi on Thursday.

Former PHT editor Brandon Worley confirms that the deadline for bids remains Oct. 22, with a deadline for objections to those bids set for Oct. 25. If there are multiple bidders, then an auction will be scheduled for Nov. 21, with the winner expected to be announced on Nov. 23.

So far, Gaglardi is the only confirmed suitor, but Worley elaborates on the process and some other potentially interested parties.

For a bid to be considered a “qualifying bid”, the potential buyer must be pre-approved by the NHL and the courts and the bid must be at least $10 million more in worth than that of Gaglardi’s bid, which is valued at around $260 million. If more than one bid is approved by the court, then an auction will take place on November 21, with the winning bidder being confirmed in a combined hearing on November 23.

Currently, there have been no bids presented to the court but we’ve learned that both Doug Miller and Chuck Greenberg are certainly interested in making a bid if at all feasible. I wouldn’t expect there to be a bid made until just before the deadline, based on the complexity of the sale agreement.

Worley claims that a new owner should be in place by Thanksgiving, although different legal processes (including gaining approval from the NHL’s Board of Governors, which might just be a formality) might delay it from becoming 100 percent official. That being said, all signs point to the Stars getting a new owner – possibly before 2012 even begins.

Backes scores OT goal on his birthday, Blues even up series with Stars

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The St. Louis Blues won’t be thrilled with the way they played in the third period, but in the end, they did just enough to come away with a 4-3 overtime win over the Dallas Stars in Game 2. The Blues’ win means that the series will head to St. Louis tied 1-1.

The Stars opened the scoring in the first period, but the Blues responded by scoring three unanswered goals (Patrik Berglund, Joel Edmundson, Troy Brouwer) on five shots. Stars coach Lindy Ruff had seen enough from starter Kari Lehtonen at that point. He yanked Lehtonen in favor of Antti Niemi at the start of the second period.

Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second period, but things got crazy in the third.

With his team still trailing 3-1, Mattias Janmark split Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko before scoring a great goal.

Moments after Janmark’s goal, Brian Elliott took a Jason Spezza blast off the mask. Elliott was shaken up on the play (he even lost one of his contact lenses), but he did stay in the game.

Stars captain Jamie Benn (surprise, surprise) leveled the score by burying a goal by Brian Elliott with under three minutes in regulation.

Like they did during their first round series against Chicago, the Blues took some time to regroup before finding a way to get the job done.

The Blues’ power play went back to work after Antoine Roussel took his third penalty of the game. That’s when the birthday boy, David Backes, came through.

That’s a nice way to celebrate your 32nd birthday.

Game 3 goes Tuesday night in St. Louis.

 

Jamie Benn’s late goal sends Game 2 to overtime

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This definitely wasn’t the way the St. Louis Blues drew it up.

The Blues entered the third period of Game 2 with a 3-1 lead. Unfortunately for them, they weren’t able to shut the game down on the road.

St. Louis jumped ahead 3-1 after 20 minutes before Dallas decided to pull Kari Lehtonen in favor of Antti Niemi. The move didn’t provide any results in the middle frame, but something certainly sparked the Stars in the third period.

Mattias Janmark cut the deficit to 3-2 with this beauty (notice how he split Colton Parayko and Alex Pietrangelo).

With less than three minutes remaining in regulation, Stars captain Jamie Benn tied it up (top).

It’s safe to say this wasn’t a memorable third period for the Blues.

Video: Brian Elliott takes a blast off the mask, stays in the game

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A bit of a scary moment in the third period of Game 2 between the Stars and Blues.

Less than five minutes into the third period, Jason Spezza took a shot that caught Blues goalie Brian Elliott square in the mask. Play was halted as Elliott remained down. It appears as though the shot to the mask also made Elliott lose one of his contacts.

Thankfully, Elliott wasn’t seriously injured on the play. After being examined by the team doctor, he was allowed to stay into the game. He did need a new mask though (he got his original one back a few minutes later).

You can watch the play by clicking the video at the top of the page.

The Blues currently lead 3-2 late in the third period.

Here’s some Twitter reaction:

 

Lehtonen only lasts one period in Game 2

Lehtonen
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Kari Lehtonen might have been more hit than miss in the playoffs going into today’s action, but Game 2 against St. Louis was certainly a start he’d like to forget.

Dallas outshot St. Louis 10-5 in the first frame, but the Blues still managed to take a 3-1 lead. Antti Niemi replaced Lehtonen for the second period which means, barring another goalie change, Lehtonen will actually end up with a sub-.500 save percentage this afternoon.

The numbers obviously look bad and it’s hard not to blame Lehtonen in the face of that, but the Blues deserve a lot of the credit for those goals. Patrik Berglund had a great shot on goal for the first marker, Joel Edmundson‘s first career playoff goal came after a nice setup by Troy Brouwer, and when Brouwer collected his own goal it was off of a rebound during a power play.

So to an extent, you could say Lehtonen looked bad due to circumstances that were very unfavorable to him. Nevertheless, the Stars needed to shake things up after what was unquestionably a bad period for them.