I don't know how many times we've written this about the sale of the Dallas Stars by this point in the process, but... Things are about to get moving. Really moving. For real this time.
Multiple sources are reporting this evening that Tom Gaglardi's bid for the team has been officially submitted and/or completed. This is not to be confused with the news we had on July 29th that his bid had been submitted (pushed to the NHL, is what they said.) It was said that league lawyers were reviewing the paperwork for a time now known to be just over a month.
The next step is for Monarch Alternative Capital, which took control when Hicks Sports Group defaulted on $525 million in loans in 2009, to submit a prepackaged bankruptcy plan to a court. The current plan calls for a filing on Sept. 14 in Delaware district court. In July, the Los Angeles Dodgers voluntarily filed for bankruptcy in Delaware. [Dallas Morning News]
Bankruptcy court in Fort Worth would have conceivably produced greater coverage locally from the FWST, DMN and Business Journal, among others, but filing in Delaware is supposed to speed the overall process up quite a bit.
September 14th is supposed to be the filing day, should everything go according to the current plan. At that point Monarch will submit their plan to the court and any potential opposing bidders will have their chance to counter, but the value of such bids must be at least $10 million over Gaglardi's.
From the sound of it, Chuck Greenberg will be submitting his own bid and has been working hard to do so over the course of the last eight weeks. If a competing bid is accepted, an auction will follow and the time table on that is not known. What is not yet known (or suspected) is who else will join him. Billy Quinn, Doug Miller and Christopher Charlton have interest as well.
Whatever happens, all parties surveyed (Gaglardi, Greenberg, the Morning News, Joe Nieuwendyk, etc...) have said publicly that they believe the process will conclude before Christmas. The lenders, who have to start writing payroll checks in early October, are supposedly eager to be done.
The sale of the team mid-season is not expected to affect Joe Nieuwendyk's operating budget much. The payroll increased to $49 million and in subsequent interviews it has been revealed that the budget could be as high as $52 million, providing wiggle room throughout.
Either way, Stars fans should be in store for a real treat this month with training camp, preseason and bankruptcy hearings all happening concurrently, and DefendingBigD should be busy throughout. So stick with us through what should be a historic time in this franchise's history.