According to the Globe and Mail, the sale of the St. Louis Blues to a group led by the club’s minority owner, Tom Stillman, is expected to be approved tomorrow by the NHL and close Wednesday.
The $130-million (all currency U.S.) purchase will see Stillman buy the Blues, their American Hockey League team, the management rights to the Scottrade Center, and a share of the Peabody Opera House from Dave Checketts and TowerBrook Capital Partners LP, an investment fund.
The group put together by Stillman consists of people prominent in St. Louis business circles. The most well-known among them is the Taylor family, which owns Enterprise Holdings Inc., which operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car.
It’s not clear what effect the change in ownership will have on the club’s budget, if any.
Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz scoffs at the notion the team will go on a wild spending spree.
I continue to be astounded by the unrealistic expectations awaiting the Blues’ prospective new owner, Tom Stillman. I think some in the media have done everyone a disservice by perpetuating the myth that Stillman will come in here and start making it rain like PacMan Jones in a gentlemen’s club. Here’s the deal: while I look forward to Stillman taking over to provide stability and hands-on, on-the-ground ownership, it’s really silly to assume that he’s bringing a lot of cash money into this endeavor. I’ve heard media folks talk about how Stillman has lined up the Taylor family other big financial shooters in the STL community. Yes, he has. But he’s lined them up to help him finance the purchase of the franchise. And that’s it. These wealthy folks won’t be funneling an endless supply of cash to Stillman.
It figures to be a busy summer for Doug Armstrong, the team’s general manager. Jason Arnott, Jamie Langenbrunner, Barret Jackman and Carlo Colaiacovo are all set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, while TJ Oshie, David Perron and Chris Stewart are pending restricted free agents.
Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.
Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.
And what a look it was.
In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.
It was, in a word, fun.
Lots of fun.
A quick sampling of reviews:
Of course, not everybody was a fan:
Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.
But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…