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.
By Marian Gaborik‘s often-fragile standards, he’s been relatively sturdy as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
Still, few should be shocked when they hear of a lower-body injury for the veteran winger. In this case, it’s serious enough to land him on injured reserve, as the team announced on Saturday.
Gaborik had a bumpy time with zero points from Jan. 9-23, but he’s been more productive lately, scoring five points in his past seven contests.
And, again, it was an unusually healthy run for Gaborik:
LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen indicates that Gaborik was placed on IR in part so that the Kings could make room for Peter Budaj.
Update: The Minnesota Wild made it official. Still no word yet on a replacement.
It looks like the Minnesota Wild have no love left for Mike Yeo on Valentine’s Day weekend.
Apparently an eighth consecutive loss (falling to the Boston Bruins) was the final straw, as Yeo has been fired, according to Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press and Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Yeo confirmed as much via text (pauses for comment about this being a strange time for us all) to Russo:
The Wild haven’t made an official announcement yet. The writing certainly seemed to be on the wall with Graff reporting that there were especially long meetings between Minnesota management and Yeo after today’s loss to Boston.
Yeo mentioned that he wouldn’t quit following the game.
One big question remains: is GM Chuck Fletcher safe to work the trade deadline or will there be sweeping changes for the struggling Wild?
Also: who coaches them going forward? Will an assistant be bumped up to interim head coach or will the franchise go to someone looking for a gig? Perhaps this option …
Who knows, really. PHT will keep you up to date either way.
/paging Jacques Lemaire …
The Carolina Hurricanes probably can save a few ice buckets tonight, as the New York Islanders will be without winger Cal Clutterbuck.
The Isles announced that Clutterbuck won’t play on Saturday because of an illness. Their next game is against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday, and then they don’t suit up again until Thursday, so Clutterbuck’s sickness may not be too much of a nuisance.
According to Yahoo’s numbers, the amusingly named forward has delivered 55 hits in 14 career games against the Canes (not to mention a solid five points).
Matt Martin‘s among the most frequent hitters in the league, too, so it’s not like the Hurricanes will leave tonight’s game totally unscathed.
Here are the Islanders’ tweaked forward lines:
If the Minnesota Wild want to make a coaching change, it sounds like Mike Yeo won’t make it easy for them by stepping down.
“I’m not freaking quitting here,” Yeo said to reporters including the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.
It also sounds like Yeo realizes that Minnesota’s morbid losing streak – now at a worrisome eight games – may very well cost him his job.
The scene sounded pretty somber after today’s loss to the Boston Bruins, and not in your usual way.
Firing Yeo would be a big step for the Wild, even more than usual, as he began his coaching stint in 2011. GM Chuck Fletcher was hired in 2009, so the two have been attached at the hip since then.
(And they got to know each other well in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.)
Will one or both be gone, possibly in the near future? Even Yeo admits big changes can happen.
Wild players, meanwhile, just seem beaten down … and maybe ambivalent about Yeo?