When the Dallas Morning News reported that Canadian businessman Tom Gaglardi finally completed his offer to purchase the Dallas Stars and forwarded that paperwork on to the league there was a dichotomous response from the fan base.
Replies on this site, Twitter, Facebook and my inbox all ranged from "YES!!!!" to the always eloquent internet descriptor "meh."
It was first reported that Gaglardi had achieved lead-horse status and a 30 day exclusivity period on April 25th. The 30 day period might be extended to a 60 day period, we were told. Here we are 96 days later talking about his completed offer. That fact has lent a certain amount of skepticism to the proceedings. We've all come a long way since February of 2010 when a sale was first proposed. Or have we? ...and isn't that the problem?
Not one to shy away from snark (as you all well know), I share in the disillusion to a certain extent but believe that the time has passed for indifference. This latest news should propel this process to bankruptcy court fairly soon (weeks...) and at that point the goings-on will be presented in a much more public fashion, with the DMN, ESPN Dallas, Dallas Business Journal, maybe even the FWST, and others all reporting regularly. That all depends on the involvement of the sexy names (Cuban, Greenberg...maybe even Modano, though it's doubtful).
Either way this process will finally be exposed to new, refreshing levels of pellucidity. It's time to get a little excited and start anticipating an end to this process.
As Mike Heika pointed out in his piece yesterday, the overriding concern from the lenders standpoint (you know, aside from the fact that they're owed millions or the millions they lost last year operating the team...) is that the players start collecting checks on October 15th. That's a date they'd rather not make.
In talking to several people at development camp and listening to the peripheral chit-chat not fit for publishing, there seemed to be a prevailing opinion that the summer is just a lousy time to get anything done. There were a lot of people (lawyers?) involved on Gaglardi's side alone, and vacations simply do not lend themselves to productivity. As we enter August and school schedules resume and the heat (please?) dissipates, it can only aid the speed at which these things occur.
First another round of lawyers must make sure the offer passes muster, then bankruptcy court. The way it's being portrayed, additional bids must apparently happen during the bankruptcy court and not before...
Once his offer is approved by lawyers, it should form the so-called "stalking horse" bid that will be taken into a prepackaged bakruptcy hearing, possibly in August.
Either Gaglardi would get the team at the price named, or another bidder could offer more. If another group bids more than Gaglardi, he could increase his bid or walk away and receive a break-up fee. [Dallas Morning News]
It seems somewhat doubtful this morning that we're headed toward some dramatic day-long courtroom showdown a la the Texas Rangers, but anything is possible. We're about to finally find out if Gaglardi's offer is indeed head and shoulders above the rest as has been reported.
Previously it has been suggested that the judge would grant at least a 30 day period for other interested parties to study the offer and submit counter-proposals. If the initial bankruptcy hearing takes place relatively soon, that 30 day period could take us into the prospect tournament and the start of camp.
Whatever happens, the next step in the process isn't going to take 96 days like the last one did, so stay tuned and keep your chins up. We may be in for a fascinating multi-horse race to the finish line that keeps us busy all the way through pre-season. Either way the team is going to get sold to someone who really, really wants it, and the process is going to hopefully keep our Stars-pants dancing through the doldrums of August. Better times are on the way.