Stillman signs agreement to buy Blues

Stillman signs agreement to buy Blues

Published Jan. 20, 2012 11:32 a.m. ET

ST. LOUIS – A group led by St. Louis Blues minority owner Tom Stillman has signed a purchase agreement to buy the team, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday.

Stillman and the Blues must finish the sale and have it approved by the NHL. The NHL’s board of directors will meet during the all-star break Jan. 28 in Ottawa, but a vote is not expected at that time. The price of purchase, one that includes the Blues, the Scottrade Center lease, interest in the Peabody Opera House and the club’s top minor-league affiliate – the Peoria (Ill.) Rivermen – is estimated to exceed $130 million.

The news comes a little more than two weeks after the league turned down a purchase agreement that included Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer. Afterward, Stillman was granted an exclusive negotiating opportunity.

The development occurs at a time when the Blues are enjoying some of their best success in recent memory. They are 28-12-6 and have earned 62 points, one behind the Detroit Red Wings for the Central Division and Western Conference lead. They are a league-best 20-3-3 at home and are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games after a 1-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.

The Blues have not appeared in the postseason since losing to the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference quarterfinals in 2009.

Stillman, a former lawyer, became a minority owner of the Blues in March 2007. He is chairman and CEO of Summit Distributing, a St. Louis-based beer distributor that is the second-largest of its kind in Missouri. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School. He attended Middlebury College, where he played hockey and soccer before earning his degree in 1974.