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.