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Blog Entry

Gagliardi owns Stars with bankruptcy court OK

Posted on: November 18, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 5:02 pm
 

By Brian Stubits

The Dallas Stars ownership mess has finally been cleaned up.

The purchase of the team by Vancouver businessman Tom Gagliardi was approved by a bankruptcy court in Delaware on Friday, jumping the final hurdle before the ownership keys could be handed over. And just like that, the Stars are out of debt.

Considering Gagliardi was already approved by the Board of Governors, this wraps up the deal. The official announcement was made by the NHL and Dallas Stars on Friday evening.

Gagliardi takes over a franchise that has gone through some awfully tough days in the past few years after former owner Tom Hicks defaulted on his loans. Since then the NHL looked for a new owner with a plan to get the team out of its debt. They found their man in Gagliardi.

It's not going to be easy for Gagliardi from the start. The Stars have been losing money at a pretty staggering rate in the past few seasons and are projected to lose $31 million this season. But the plan for Gagliardi is to commit to winning again and upgrading the fan experience to try and turn things around. Dallas has shown it is a suitable market for a viable hockey franchise in the past.

With the core of players the Stars have, Gagliardi gets a nice head-start on one of those objectives -- the winning. The Stars have been one of the surprises of the early season, jumping out to a very fast start before finally hitting a bump in the road in the last week.

The fan equation might be a bit tougher. Despite the winning start, the Stars have really struggled to attract people to their games. Taking out the home opener and the largest crowd the Stars have had at home was 11,981 against the Avalanche on Nov. 4.

This is the greatest news to hit Dallas since the second out of the ninth inning in Game 6 of this year's World Series. Stable ownership has come back to Dallas and hopefully the fans will respond. Plus, I assume, the Stars will be able to be buyers at the trade deadline if they so desire with a new-found money source.

Is this akin to Terry Pegula buying the Sabres? Not exactly. Pegula is and has been a fervent fan of the Sabres and is one of the richest owners in hockey (fourth to be exact) who came to the table right away willing to spend to the cap and get the Sabres to the Cup. Gagliardi probably can't attack as quick as Pegula did with the few obstacles he's facing.

Plus, there should be no fears of Gagliardi looking to move the franchise; he has ties to the state of Texas. In addition to his mom being from Longview, he has family that lives in the Metroplex, so he's familiar with the lay of the land.

The first move Gagliardi made as the new owner was to hire Jim Lites as the team president, as position Lites held from 1993-2007, minus some time he spent with the Coyotes in 2002.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Comments

Since: May 13, 2011
Posted on: November 19, 2011 6:05 pm
 

Gagliardi owns Stars with bankruptcy court OK

Stars new bench boss I think was a great hire, Gulutzan. From what I seen of of coaching style during Stars games and hearing he's been getting high praise around the league.

Joe N. I think will right the ship for the Stars org. You are in good hands with a HHOFer running the operation.


Hicks was a cancer and he's gone now.

 I've always thought that hockey should have been a success in Ohio


Hey 8 ball, they tried pro hockey in Cincy and Cleveland it failed there too.

Dallas has a good foundation to improve soon so the fans should come back and doesn't hurt they already have one SC under their belt.




Since: Aug 12, 2009
Posted on: November 19, 2011 3:22 pm
 

Gagliardi owns Stars with bankruptcy court OK

First off...stop with the Game 6 jokes.  It's not funny and it still hurts.  (This will stop in October 2012 when "we" finally win it!)

As far as the Stars, the main problem now is that this is the biggest news to hit this team in years and there are only two comments to this blog.  Fan interest is lacking big time.  I stopped my season tickets this year as I didn't see the need to spend on a product that was mismanaged so badly.  I now have gone two months without seeing a game in person and some how my life has gone on.  I've learned to live without it and I really don't see how they will get me back.  I still watch on TV but the Stars have some work to do.



Since: Dec 21, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2011 8:11 pm
 

Gagliardi owns Stars with bankruptcy court OK

One down three to go.  The Star's ownership situation was always going to get resolved IMO.  One of the shining lights of hockey in the South with a historically strong market and a roster that is surprisingly one of the better stories of this young season (hopefully that can carry through with a berth in the playoffs).  NJ, Florida, & Columbus are all very different buckets of pucks and they will be hard pressed to turn around their fortunes and avoid relocation.  Too many years of futility for the Panthers and Jackets may have spelled the writing on the wall for those franchises.  I've never been to NJ, but from what I've heard it may just be asking too much for fans to support a team that plays in a great facility that happens to be located too far away in a neighborhood of significant ill repute.  I've always thought that hockey should have been a success in Ohio.  Like the NBA's Vancouver Grizzilies, they were not managed well enough to put a decent product on the ice. 



Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: November 18, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Gagliardi owns Stars with bankruptcy court OK

Finally, the ball is rolling. 


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