Report: Stars sale near

DAVE POLLARD, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:02 PM ET

The Dallas Stars and the arena they call home are close to being sold.

According to a report on Forbes.com, owner Tom Hicks is set to unload the Stars and a 50% interest in American Airlines Center for between $275 and $300 million. The report doesn't say who the potential buyer is but there have been some suggestions Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who kicked the tires on the Pittsburgh Penguins, could be involved.

Hicks turned down a previous bid of $250 million for the NHL team, Forbes.com says.

The sale of the Stars would allow creditors of Hicks Sports Group to scoop up $200 million, in addition to the money they will get from the sale of the Texas Rangers baseball team.

Hicks, who also owns Liverpool of the English Premier League with George Gillett, Jr., bought the Stars in 1996 for $84 million.

Earlier this month Hicks indicated he wanted to have the team sold before its season opener Oct. 8.

BADGER BAIT

The University of Wisconsin football team got a surprise visit Wednesday ... from the Stanley Cup.

As Badgers coach Bret Bielema called the players toward him, a limousine entered the field, carrying former UW hockey player Adam Burish.

Burish emerged from the car and hoisted the Stanley Cup over his head, which got the players fired up, madison.com reported.

"It was fun for me to come out and talk to the guys," said Burish, who won the Cup as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. "I've been fortunate enough to win (an NCAA) championship here at Wisconsin and now to win a Stanley Cup.

"It was cool. They were into it. I see these big guys lying on the ground, checking out the Stanley Cup, it was pretty neat."

Perhaps the most excited player was senior quarterback Scott Tolzien, who is from Rolling Meadows, Ill., and a big Blackhawks fan.

Alas, Burish, 27, won't be back with the Blackhawks. The winger is headed for Dallas after signing a two-year contract worth $2.3 million with the Stars.

GOING OUTDOORS

The Spokane Chiefs are going to beat the Calgary Hitmen to the punch. And steal some of their thunder.

The Chiefs of the Western Hockey League announced Wednesday they will host an outdoor game against the Kootenay Ice Jan. 15 at Avista Stadium in Spokane.

The Rockstar Outdoor Hockey Classic will be played more than a month before the Hitmen face the Regina Pats at McMahon Stadium in Calgary. The Calgary-Regina tilt, which would have been the first outdoor game held by a WHL team, is scheduled for Feb. 21, the day after the Flames play the Montreal Canadiens in the Heritage Classic.

"Since the NHL outdoor game in Buffalo 2008, I have wanted the Spokane Chiefs to play in one," Chiefs president Bobby Brett said. "I think it will be an unbelievable event for our players and fans."

Bet the Hitmen aren't as excited and will be hoping for a rainy mid-January in Spokane.

BACK ON THE ISLAND

Centre Andy Hilbert re-joined the New York Islanders after a year in the wilderness.

Hilbert, an eight-year veteran who played four games with the Minnesota Wild last season, signed a two-way contract with the Islanders Wednesday. The 29 year-old played 218 games for the Isles from 2006-09, recording 27 goals and 44 assists, but spent most of the 2009-10 season with Houston of the AHL.

The Islanders also inked centre Rob Hisey to a one-year, two-way deal. Hisey split time between Springfield (AHL) and Tulsa (CHL) last season after four years in Europe.

NEW JACKET

Former Nashville Predators forward Ben Guite has a new home with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Guite, who played six games with the Preds and 64 with Milwaukee of the AHL last season, signed a one-year contract Wednesday. In 175 career games with Boston, Colorado and Nashville, the Montreal native has 19 goals and 26 assists.


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