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Stars Fans Watch Rangers Sale With a Cynical Eye

Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability or impairment of ability of an individual or organization to pay its creditors.

Or, if you're Tom Hicks, it's something you try to sell to the press and public as a "good idea." I don't know much about running a business, but I'm fairly certain bankruptcy is a measure of last resort. I don't care what color bow you put on it before you trot it out at a press conference. It's not good. Yet there was Mr. Hicks the other day, somehow still involved in all of this and at said press conference trying convince everyone that NOW things are going to start moving forward. NOW things are finally going to start rolling.

Sure thing, Mr. Hicks. Sure.

Some of us in this DBD community are Rangers fans as well as Stars fans. Some you aren't. This affects everyone. I happen to be both and I must tell you that this is all making me deeply uneasy. I have no tangible reason nor evidence to think that any of this, to this point, will affect the sale of the Dallas Stars, but a shadow and a threat has been growing in my mind. Over-dramatic? Sure, but how many times are we going to let this guy fool us?

This guy that said some years ago (thanks for the reminder from BaD radio yesterday) of his strategy of actually spending money on players: "Unfortunately, we won a Stanley Cup (that way)."

The Rangers have filed for bankruptcy themselves after the threat implication had been made for weeks that they would have it forced upon them involuntarily, sooner or later. "The Rangers’ filing today was a single-team-only filing. That is separate and distinct from the Dallas Stars," Cogen told the Morning News on Monday.

Evan Grant of the Morning News had this to say of the bankruptcy move:

The sale guarantees $75 million in proceeds to the current creditors, because that is the total secured lien on the Rangers. The rest of the $525 million in default is the responsibility of Hicks Sports Group. However, HSG will then disperse the leftover proceeds of the sale to the creditors. All totaled, that should be about $280 million, which is what the stalemated deal had proposed sending creditors in the first place.

You'll see these figures reported slightly differently here or there about the internet, but the implication seems to be that the Stars sale will probably need to fill the whole the Rangers money leaves in the money owed by HSG, and it's going to be in the neighborhood of $250 million dollars.

How much are the Stars worth? We've been saying $300 million just for fun in recent months, but isn't the reality of it much less than that, even with the American Airlines Center share? The hush-hush nature of the sale (probably a good idea on their part) is obscuring the numbers from view, though as things move along (someday) we'll get a better idea.

Keeping their mouths shut about all of this shows an ability to learn from past mistakes. How far does it extend? Say, attempting to sell the team to who was actually the highest bidder, perhaps? The Rangers situation is perhaps a bit different, as the league, the Rangers fan, Tom Hicks and yours truly would rather see the Nolan Ryan group get the team over another group that may have been willing to pay more. The creditors, of course, see it a different way.

The two groups we've heard of in connection to the Stars (the Lites/Quinn/Modano group and the Bill Gallacher group) both sound like wonderful alternatives to what we have now, and I feel like both would be motivated to win a Stanley Cup, so perhaps the highest bidder will be a no brainer. Hard to say.

At least if you're a Liverpool FC fan, you can be all but assured that the highest bidder will indeed by his guiding light in that case. That was only ever about the money, right?

The Morning News went on to say:

Lites said Monday that he has "no idea" how the Rangers’ sale moving forward will affect the sale of the Stars.

"The Stars’ process is significantly behind the Rangers’ process," Lites said. "Honestly, at the end of the day, if the Rangers’ deal were to close, it would push the Stars’ sale forward in general terms. If it in fact does push it forward, I would assume that it would be a positive thing in the Stars’ sale moving forward."

Which is to say (if it's to be believed) that the Rangers sale going through would be a good thing for puck heads. Unfortunately, the new "mid summer" target is now their 3rd or 4th target. The boy is crying wolf, and with seemingly everyone (Modano, Richards, and maybe even Joe Nieuwendyk on the RFA contracts?) waiting for some inkling of how this is all going to work out, the clock is ticking.

My reaction to that quote can be summed up best by Bender: "Oh, how I wish I could believe or understand that!"

Cogen said the "process is ongoing" with the sale of the Stars. "Which you should read as moving forward," Cogen said.

He also said he doesn't want to put a timetable on it and "work against it publicly." 

It's the same owner, (some of) the same creditors, and the same debt. I can hope that it's going to be different with the Stars, but until I know for sure...until we get some good news, I remain cautious. Put me in the "glass half empty" camp until further notice.