Sale of the Blues to Close Wednesday
It's been pretty tough to lift fans' spirits in the wake of the team's disappointing exit from the playoffs on Sunday afternoon. However, a recent report regarding the team's sale should make you smile. David Shoalts reports that the sale of the St. Louis Blues to the group lead by Tom Stillman has been completed. The sale just needs final approval before the sale officially closes on Wednesday. The team appears to finally have an owner. Well that didn't take very long, did it? Sarcasm aside, the news comes at a time where St. Louis fans could use something to brighten their day. I personally believed and hoped the sale of the Blues would be completed in the first half of the 2011-12 season. This would allow a new party to jump on board in time to make any necessary moves prior to the NHL trade deadline. The trade deadline came and went and the sale of the Blues lacked any serious information outside of rumors. Rumors. Speculation. More rumors. This was the story all season long when it came down to the topic of what was going on with the sale of the Blues. Information was at a premium. There was a concern that the unending saga of the team's fate off the ice might impact their play on it. Thankfully, this wasn't the case. The Blues surged through the regular season on a relatively small budget, making the club a better and better "buy-low" candidate with each passing win. Tom Stillman, a name that should be pretty familiar to Blues fans, became a minority owner of the Blues back in March of 2007. He was believed to be forming a group to buy the Blues but was unable to reach an agreement with current majority owners TowerBrook Capitals Partners in a sale that would include not only the Blues but also the Peoria Rivermen and the lease to the Scottrade Center. Alleged deals sprang up only to be denied or to be lost to speculation. A different name, Matthew Hulsizer of Chicago, popped into the mix. He quickly became the favorite to land the Blues. However, as quickly as his interest became known it was squashed when the NHL terminated a purchase agreement that Hulsizer had to buy the Blues. Once again, Stillman's group appeared to be the favorite but they still had the obstacle of arriving at a price both sides could agree on. Meanwhile, the Blues continued to excel on the ice, making any contract seem like a brilliant one given the team's huge value on the ice that was fueled by mostly pennies. Today, we finally have light at the end of the tunnel. Stillman's group has apparently closed on the Blues. The deal now goes before the NHL Governors and barring any unexpected surprised, should officially close on Wednesday. Smile Blues fans. Your favorite team finally has some solid financial backing.