NEW YORK - A group of investors, led by Tom Stillman, have been given the thumbs up to buy the St. Louis Blues.
The NHL's board of governors voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the sale of the Blues to Stillman's group. The sale of the franchise -- the team's AHL affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, the lease to the Scottrade Center and a significant interest in the Peabody Opera House is also included -- is expected to be formally announced Thursday.
Stillman, a minority owner of the Blues since 2007, will reportedly pay $130 million for the team.
"(He is) a local guy that's passionate about the game, he's around the rink as much as the players are," Blues captain David Backes said Tuesday. "He's on road trips, he's skating himself with (Blues) alumni. A guy that's passionate, from the St. Louis area ... what more could you want. It's nice to hopefully have that situation stabilized and stop talking about it and get onto business, which is in the ice and taking care of business there."
The sale of the franchise ends a two-year saga that started when outgoing owner Dave Checketts, who bought the team from Bill and Nancy Laurie in 2006, saw private-equity form TPC divest its 70% investment.
Stillman is CEO of Summit Distributing, the second-largest beer distributor in Missouri. His ownership group includes former U.S. Sen. Jack Danforth, businessmen Donn Lux and Steve Maritz and St. Louis sports surgeon Dr. Richard Lehman, along with the Taylor family, which controls the Enterprise car rental company.