Tag:Dallas Stars ownership
Posted on: November 18, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 5:02 pm
 

Gagliardi owns Stars with bankruptcy court OK

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.

Posted on: October 24, 2011 5:06 pm
 

Vancouver businessman lone bidder to buy Stars

By Brian Stubits

There is a light at the end of the Dallas Stars' ownership tunnel.

The deadline for suitors to bid on the team has come and gone and the only bidder remains Vancouver businessman Tom Gagliardi, who has been the frontrunner to buy the team for some time. Now there are just a few technical hurdles to jump before they can move on with life in Dallas, where they have been hamstrung by owner Tom Hicks' financial troubles and have since been hemorrhaging more than $30 million per season.

More details from ESPNDallas.com:

The next step in the process is a November 23 hearing in a Delaware bankruptcy court, where the court will consider “approval of the Sale, and confirmation of the Debtors’ Prepackaged Plan and any objections thereto and to consider any other matter that may properly come before the Bankruptcy Court.”

Approval of the NHL Board of Governors and closing of the sale also are needed for the deal to be finalized.

In a statement, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly talked about what comes next from the league's standpoint.

"Now that the bidding deadline has been reached, we will continue our due diligence process and will proceed with the Board's ownership transaction review process," Daly said. "We also will work with the courts in the continued hope of bringing this matter to a successful and expeditious resolution."

Assuming everything goes through without a hitch, this could be a very big development to watch as the season unfolds. If Dallas continues to play as well as it has to open the season, the lowest payroll in the league would have lots of room to add players and an owner who would likely be willing to do it.

Worried about relocation with a Canadian businessman purchasing a team in Texas? Don't be. Gagliardi has connections to Texas. Not only does he have family living in the Metroplex, his mother is from Longview.

Photo: Getty Images

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

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com