The St. Louis Blues are on the verge of playing one of the most ignored games in their rich franchise history tonight, but their MLB neighbors won’t be the only big news makers on Oct. 28. Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Matthew Hulsizer agreed to buy the Blues today.
Hulsizer’s exact stake in the team isn’t clear yet, but Rutherford reports that he’ll be the majority owner.
The NHL’s Board of Governors still needs to put its rubber stamp on the deal, but Rutherford points out that Hulsizer already passed the sniff test when he was campaigning to own the Phoenix Coyotes. In other words, that shouldn’t be an issue.
With all due respect to the desert dogs, owning the Blues is a lower-risk endeavor for the Chicago businessman. The team is showing some solid promise with a roster heavy on young players, but it would be great to see Hulsizer bump up their budget much like Terry Pegula has done with the Buffalo Sabres.
We’ll keep tabs on the sale being made official. Much like a horror movie villain, a done deal can turn into a big headache at the drop of a hat. Still, it seems pretty safe to say that Hulsizer will be the new owner of the Blues.
Forgive us if this seems like a broken record, but a group including Jerry Reinsdorf is again be trumpeted as the possible next owners of the Phoenix Coyotes.
Naturally, the details are as fuzzy as usual, but the Arizona Republic did unravel a few useful tidbits. Here they are, in convenient and quick list form (for those of you who are getting more than a bit tired of this troubled scenario).
- The group reportedly also includes a returning party in “former Arizona lawmaker” John Kaites as well as interim Dallas Stars president Tony Tavares.
- As we discussed before, there might be a second group interested in buying the team, which is supposed to be headed by former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison.
- While both groups have been coy about the structure of their bids (potential or existing), Glendale representatives claim that bonds won’t be a part of either one. That’s a huge factor since the Goldwater Institute railroaded the use of bonds in the most recent close-call regarding the Coyotes’ sale.
- The time table on closing a deal isn’t clear either, although the city has a (perhaps excessively optimistic) goal of getting something done before the end of the year.
In some ways, it seems like all sides are treading water. That being said, it’s hard not to be a bit more optimistic about the Coyotes’ chances of sticking around just by the sheer determination the league has shown in keeping it in Glendale. The fact that the various losing parties have shown a willingness to take on another year’s worth of losses is an impressive thing, even if some might call it misguided.
Either way, we’ll continue to follow this story, even if it’s the NHL ownership version of Groundhog Day.
(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)
Earlier today, The New York Post released an exclusive article that claimed the New Jersey Devils could be headed for bankruptcy after failing to pay back a loan on Sept. 1. The story illustrated what might be a significant issue for the franchise, especially since the Prudential Center could be prone to losses if the NBA’s lockout robs them of New Jersey Nets games.
The Devils’ brass didn’t respond to interview requests from the Post, but they did release a statement about the matter today. The team reiterated their statements that their ownership situation should be resolved. The plan is that co-owner Jeff Vanderbeek will buy out Brick City LLC (both parties currently own 47 percent of the shares) and then the franchise will be able to complete a refinancing process.
Here is the team’s statement that refutes the article, via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice.
“Today’s New York Post story is inaccurate. The notions that the Devils are facing bankruptcy or that “the Devils have told their banks to get lost” are patently untrue. The Devils value their relationship with their banks and are confident a refinancing will be completed shortly. As stated previously, ownership is close to finalizing an agreement that would lead to a buyout of Brick City’s share of the company. The organization is also pleased to report that new season ticket sales are up 130% over last year and last week’s on-sale for single game tickets were 260% above last year’s similar period. Finally, the start of training camp was incorrectly reported in the article as tomorrow. In fact, training camp starts on Friday for the rookies and Saturday for the veterans.”
Hopefully it’s true that the Devils aren’t in as dire a situation as the Post reports. The NHL has enough problems on its hands with teams such as the New York Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets struggling. The last thing it needs is to hear rumors fly around about a team that won three Stanley Cups since the mid-90s.
It might be a while before there are any other significant developments in this story, but we’ll keep an eye on the situation either way.