Interesting stuff coming from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News today as he suggests that the sale of the Dallas Stars by Tom Hicks to Calgary billionaire Bill Gallacher is close to done.
Of course, we've heard and read all the rumors that the two sides have been talking for a while now, but in his report filed today, Mr. Campbell throws in a very eye catching line that we haven't seen yet and has renewed hopes for optimism:
THN.com has learned Calgary oilman Bill Gallacher, who also owns the Portland Winterhawks of the Western League, heads up a group of investors that has reached an agreement in principle to buy the Dallas Stars for about $225 million. The deal has yet to be signed and either side could back out of it, but it appears the deal will get done soon.
Hmmmmmmmmmm... * thoughtful stroking of my beard *
Sale rumors have been flying at us for about a year now, but this "agreement in principle" phrasing is a first for us here. Ken of course hedges his bet a little by saying that either side could back out and he's right, but still we've been well aware both sides have been talking. We also have seen it suggested by many different people including Gary Bettman himself that the sale of the Dallas Stars may be a little easier and see a quicker resolution than the Rangers sale saga currently ongoing. So maybe unlike a lot of rumors that float around in the hockey world, this one isn't too far from being factual perhaps?
And as if this little tidbit of info wasn't enough.. Campbell throws this food for thought in for good measure:
One possible scenario has Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban jumping back into the fray. Cuban was reportedly turned off by the $350 million price being asked by Hicks, but might be enticed by a much lower price. Owning the Stars would effectively give Cuban 100 percent of the revenues generated at the American Airlines Center, one of the busiest venues in North America.
Not sure how Cuban would fit into this, and no word if it would be Gallacher or Cuban that has majority ownership in the end, but still a the thought of an ownership tag team between these two well known sports fans should have Stars fans at least giddy with a possible return to glory.
If the sale does happen - and again it's all still very much hearsay and speculation so lets curb our enthusiasm - the one place the Stars won't go is Canada:
And no, there's no chance Gallacher, if he finalizes his purchase, will move the Stars to Portland, where he owns his junior team, or to a Canadian city.
Amen to that.
Friend of DBD, Mike Heika has a little cold water to throw on us...
A couple of sources are saying they don't believe the report is accurate. I'll make some more calls. I think Gallacher is the leading candidate, but this report might be premature.
Other various reports and "insiders" are suggesting the same. The Hockey News isn't some sort of tabloid / hockey dirt sheet though so there should be at least some validity to what Mr. Campbell has reported.
It's important to remember that if there is in fact an "agreement in principal" that an actual sale could be far from done. If you want an example of that, look no further than last week when the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees reportedly had "an agreement in principal" to trade for Cliff Lee... And we all know how that one ended.
So it might be a tad early to start throwing up the "we're sold" banners around the AAC, but at the same time it's probably safe to assume that a deal is in the works and Bill Gallacher is the lead horse.