29 November 2011
There is a new sheriff in town for the Dallas Stars organization. After supposedly losing $38 million in the last fiscal year and $92 million over the last three, the Dallas Stars were officially sold to Tom Gaglardi. The NHL Board of Governors have already approved the sale. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, however, it is believed that the initial bid for the team was at $265 million.
If you're not familiar with the name, Gaglardi is current president of Northland Properties, which is considered a family run company that was founded in 1963. The company develops and operates hotels, restaurants, inns, manages residential apartments, and commercial office space. A young owner at the ripe of age of 43, resides in Vancouver, British Columbia. According to court documents, Gaglardi has no intention of moving the team and is committed to keeping the Stars in Dallas, Texas. This isn't the first dive into hockey ownership for Gaglardi. He is currently part of an ownership group that operates the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League.
Wasting no time, Gaglardi quickly named Jim Lites as the team's president and CEO. This will be Lites' third tenure with the Dallas Stars, as he served in the same capacity between 1993-2001 and 2003-2007. Both parties hope they can return to the promised land where they won their only Stanley Cup during the 1998-1999 season. They narrowly missed the playoffs last season sitting in 9th place in the Western Conference and haven't qualified for the playoffs since the 2007-2008 season.
Stars fan might be able to expect change soon when it comes to player personnel. The team currently has $11.9M in cap space this season and will have $28M to work with after this season. They only have two players locked up long-term: forward Loui Eriksson at $4.25M (until 2015-2016) and defenseman Trevor Daley at $3.3M (until 2016-2017). If the team can catch the same fire they experienced in the beginning of the season, they have an opportunity to add to their roster at the trade deadline.
When watching the press conference, I couldn't help but to focus on one sentence that Gaglardi said: "I want everybody to know that this is truly one of the best days of my life. And I'm so honored and humbled to have a franchise in the National Hockey League". And while many might believe that this phrase should be standard, I honestly believe that Gaglardi meant what he said. Saying it and meaning it are entirely two different things. I can't fathom what it feels like to stand in front of the players, press, and staff to accept official ownership of a National Hockey League franchise. Hopefully one day I will be able to experience that - chances are that I won't.
If you wish to watch the Stars press conference where they announced Gaglardi as team owner, you can do so on the team's website.