I have to admit, I was skeptical about the whispers I was hearing regarding Chuck Greenberg's interest in the Dallas Stars. There has just been too much white noise surrounding the sale of this franchise and too many times what I've heard -- I remember being told Doug Miller was just a week away from getting the rights to the team -- just wasn't true. While I trust the two people who relayed the rumor about Greenberg, and Ben Rogers is dependable as well, this one just seemed to out there. We reported on it, however, and made sure everyone knew it's status as pure rumor.
Imagine my shock and surprise when rumor was confirmed as true.
According to Mike Heika of the DMN, Chuck Greenberg has been approved as a potential buyer for the Dallas Stars, joining Billy Quinn and Mark Cuban, Doug Miller, and Christopher T. Charlton as potential ownership groups that have been approved to "look at the books" and enter a bid on the team. It's important to note that all three are ownership groups and not neccessarily just one buyer.
It's unknown whether that is the case with Greenberg or not, but it's important to remember that he had just a small percentage of the group that purchased the Texas Rangers. The sale of this team will be for significantly less that that of the Rangers, however, and even if Greenberg is heading up another group his stake could potentially be much higher.
As of right now, Tom Gaglardi still has an exclusive negotiating window for the purchase of the team and could put in a purchase agreement any day now. As we've known for some time however, a purchase agreement would not mean the sale is complete as the other approved bidders would have the chance to surpass the bid of Gaglardi. Heika mentions this could happen before the bankruptcy hearing, with the lenders and the NHL holding their own auction, which would make the actual bankruptcy case go smoother.
At any rate, add another potential buyer into the mix. I know that we're all exceptionally frustrated and tired of how this sale is being dragged out, but there is one very important thing to remember:
The rush to get the sale complete is now over. Brad Richards is gone, the budget for this season is in place -- and higher than expected -- and the team was very active in free agency is all set for the 2011-12 season. Getting this sale complete before the season is no longer a priority and now I just want it to be done right and sold to the best owner possible.
Whether that's Chuck Greenberg, Doug Miller, Mark Cuban or Tom Gaglardi...I can't say. I know many of you have some reservations about Gaglardi and the fact that this "negotiating window" has been extended so long with no news on progress is very frustrating. At this point, I'm just happy with letting the process play itself out even though yesterday I was a bit overzealous with the whole "anyone buy this team" comment.