Blues officially introduce Stillman ownership group
|A general view of the Blues' Scottrade Cente in downtown St. Louis before the start on an NHL playoff game. (GETTY)
ST. LOUIS - A group of St. Louis investors led by Tom Stillman gained the unanimous approval of the National Hockey League's Board of Governors to purchase the Blues on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the new owners were formally introduced.
"We are honored and humbled to take ownership of the St. Louis Blues," said Stillman, who gained local fame as a beer distributor. "Our new ownership group is 100 percent local, and we are 100 percent committed to the Blues and to St. Louis. We see the Blues as an important civic institution, and we know what the Blue Note means to this city and to the best fans in the NHL."
Stillman, who has been a minority owner of the Blues since 2007, becomes the eighth owner of the Blues since the franchise's inception, following Dave Checketts/SCP Worldwide (2006-2012), Bill Laurie (1999-2006), Kiel Center Partners (1991-1999), Mike Shanahan (1986-1991), Harry Ornest (1983-1986), Ralston Purina (1977-1983) and the Salomon family (1966-1977).
"We are extremely pleased to welcome Tom and his group, who are so devoted to the Blues and to the community," said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. "Success on the ice, an outstanding home arena, tremendous fan support and Tom's passionate commitment all point toward an extremely positive future for the franchise."
The group will be paying about $130 million for the Blues, their American Hockey League affiliate Peoria Riverman, and "significant interest" in the Peabody Opera House.
The native of Minneapolis heads a collective of 17 persons, the most notable name among them John C. Danforth, a former Missouri senator and one-time Ambassador to the United Nations.
Checketts' group was part of Chicago-area businessman Matthew Hulsizer's bid to buy the team, but the NHL terminated the arrangement in January due to financial issues.
St. Louis won the Central Division for the first time since 2000 this past season, but despite racking up 109 points, suffered a four-game sweep in the second round to the upstart Los Angeles Kings.