Reports on Stars Sale, Cuban Speculation Unsubstantiated?

Much like the unsubstantiated, downright wrong report from The Hockey News a month ago that a sale of the Stars to Bill Gallacher was imminent at a price of about $225 million, the Forbes.com report about the sale of the Dallas Stars yesterday might need to be cooled off, and ultimately (though we hope not,) discredited altogether.

The authority in all things Dallas Stars, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, put his resources to work yesterday in attempting to discern whether the supposed sale price of $275-$300 million was a reality, along with the alleged "closeness" of the deal. Unfortunately neither could be confirmed.

The difference between this and a month ago is that while the reports have yet to be confirmed, they were not at once universally shot down as before. It's a desperate mans' progress, perhaps, but we're comfortable with that label. This franchise has been held in suspended animation long enough. Pretenses have long since been thrown out the window. Fans of this team are hungry for progress.

Please make sure you visit the Dallas Morning News for Mike's complete thought's on the matter. This is but a small excerpt...

Two gave clean no comments, and a couple of others said they were a little blindsided by the report and asked what I knew about it, so there still is an air at least that this could be another false alarm. [DMN]

The thinking by some is that the reported value of the team might have been what prompted such immediate, vehement denials in July regarding THN's report. This time, however, the purported asking price is quite flattering to the team and thus might not trigger the same "What?? No!" from sources.

So we have potential cold water thrown on us once again. Not as cold as before, mind you, but it's still a discomfort.

What is certain is that news outlets, in parroting the Forbes report like we did here took advantage of the opportunity to bend over backward and shoe-horn Mark Cuban's name into their blurbs...

Sportingnews.com barely got 2 sentences into their report...

Hicks Sports Group is close to selling the Dallas Stars and 50 percent interest in American Airlines Center to an unspecified buyer for $275 million to $300 million, Forbes reported on Wednesday.

Plenty of speculation has focused recently on Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who had expressed interest in the purchase of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

And then there's this from TSN (via Puck Daddy)

Forbes did not state who the potential purchaser was but there has been plenty of speculation as to the identity of the buyer including reportedly Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban who previously inquired into the purchase of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

And many more...

At this point, you might say there is speculation about Mark Cuban speculation.

People in the know... again, the Dallas Morning News primarily, have listed Gallacher, Gaglardi, News Corp, and Jim Lites/Billy Gunn at various points in the sales process as potential suitors.

The latter two having been removed from contention, our understanding is that Bill Gallacher and Tom Gaglardi are the only two bidders, and as such, lead candidates to own the Dallas Stars.

Not Mark Cuban.

This speculation is echoed at ESPN Dallas. Could we be wrong? Sure. Could Cuban get involved at the last minute in an attempt to gain more control over the American Airlines Center? It could be. Is he going to outright buy the Stars and want to run a hockey team? We think that's unlikely at this point, purely going off the reputable reports at our disposal.

Believe the sensationalization regarding Cuban at your own peril. Not that I would mind, mind you. I've spoken with Cubes before (at a Green Day concert, I kid you not...) He's a great guy.

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