The differences between the Phoenix Coyotes and the St. Louis Blues are many. One might be that there are wealthy people who would consider owning the Blues without receiving eleventy-seventy billion dollars in taxpayer money from the city in order to complete the sale.
You know, for starters.
At one point, Matthew Hulsizer was going to be the beneficiary of that Glendale funding in purchasing the Coyotes. But politics and the economy sullied the process and he pulled out of the running last month.
Now, 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.
Shoalts believes Hulsizer's is one of three groups in the running for the Blues, and that "he is interested in keeping Checketts as a partner."
Despite the crap hitting the fan in Glendale, Hulsizer was a popular figure among Coyotes fans for his enthusiasm and attentive outreach to their community. He also was the NHL-approved buyer for the Coyotes, popular with the Board of Governors.
The Blues have their challenges financially, with some doom and gloom entering the process from Forbes recently. Hulsizer's interest can certainly be seen a positive development, if he's a bidder.