PHOENIX – Matthew Hulsizer must really want to own an NHL franchise.
After being tied to the Phoenix Coyotes for awhile before eventually walking away, Hulsizer is now believed to be interested in purchasing at least a stake in the St. Louis Blues.
According to David Shoalts of the Globe & Mail, the Chicago-based businessman is kicking the tires on the St. Louis Blues after touring the Scottrade Center with Blues chairman and minority owner Dave Checketts:
A source familiar with the Blues situation said Hulsizer is discussing a price in the range of $165-million to $170-million (all currency U.S.) with Checketts. The Blues chairman said earlier this week he was given an extension on a $120-million loan with Citigroup Inc., that would give him more time to sell the team.
Checketts and his company, SCP Worldwide, took out the loan in 2006 when he bought the Blues along with TowerBrook Capital Partners, a private equity firm, from Bill and Nancy Laurie for $150-million. TowerBrook holds a 70-per-cent interest in the team and announced in May, 2010 it wanted to sell its share.
Hulsizer had already been approved as a potential owner by the league office during the negotiations of the Coyotes, so he should have no trouble getting approved in the St. Louis bidding.
It’s a shame he couldn’t make a deal here in Arizona because he seems to have great enthusiasm for hockey which is something any new ownership group needs to bring to the desert.