ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Blues are close to making their new ownership official.
On Tuesday, the NHL’s Board of Governors unanimously approved a bid from a group led by Tom Stillman, CEO of Summit Distributing in St. Louis. The local investors will reportedly pay an estimated $130 million for the club in addition to the American Hockey League’s Peoria (Ill.) Rivermen and a large interest in the Peabody Opera House, which is located adjacent to Scottrade Center.
A closing of the sale is scheduled to occur today.
A complete list of investors is expected to be released when Stillman, a Blues minority owner since March 2007 with a 10 percent stake, will be introduced at a news conference Thursday at Scottrade Center. Other members of the group reportedly include U.S. Sen. John Danforth, R-Mo; Donn Lux, CEO of Luxco; Steve Maritz, CEO of Maritz Inc.; and the Taylor family, owners of the St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings. Forbes Magazine had valued the Blues at $157 million last November.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported ownership will name Brett Hull, a former winger who played for the Blues from 1988-98 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, to a management position.
The investors led by Stillman will become the eighth owner in Blues history. They follow Dave Checketts/SCP Worldwide, which bought the franchise in 2006 for $150 million.
St. Louis completed one of its best seasons in recent memory Sunday, when the Los Angeles Kings completed a sweep at Staples Center in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal. The Blues finished the regular season with a 49-22-11 record and 109 points – two behind the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks. The campaign also included a franchise-record 30 victories at home in the regular season.
St. Louis advanced past the Western Conference quarterfinals for the first time since the 2001-02 season by beating the San Jose Sharks in five games.