Frisco, TX — The Dallas Stars will be sold to Vancouver businessman Tom Gagliardi, subject to a court-approved auction and the permission of the National Hockey League.
The franchise's current owners, Dallas Stars, L.P. announced on Thursday that it, along with several affiliates, will have the club as well as all of its hockey-related assets purchased, and that the process should take roughly 60- to-75 days.
To accomplish this end, the current ownership filed for bankruptcy earlier Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, under a "prepackaged" Chapter 11 plan -- which had the full backing of the NHL as well as lenders involved with the Stars' ownership, all of whom voted to accept that plan prior to its filing.
"Today's filing culminates months of cooperative effort by the League, the Club, the Club's lenders and Dallas Arena, LLC," said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly in a statement. "It represents an extremely positive step toward what we expect will be an orderly transition to new ownership for the Dallas Stars."
The club stated that the ongoing legal process to transfer ownership will have no effect on the team or its business operations. Under terms of the agreement, Dallas can use its available cash to fund operations, all player contracts and other salaries will be honored, and the essential fan experience at American Airlines Center will remain unchanged.
"This is a significant step toward completing the transition in ownership," said Stars president Tony Tavares. "We are pleased that our lenders have shown substantial support for the plan and the sale process, but the Dallas Stars are focused on one thing: hockey. The players and coaches begin Training Camp on Friday and we are all excited to start the new season."
Once a feared foe in the competitive Western Conference, Dallas has missed out on the postseason for three years running -- the club's longest streak since moving from Minnesota in 1993 and the longest drought for the franchise since the North Stars failed to qualify from 1973-76.
The Stars begin their 2011-12 regular season on October 7 by hosting Chicago.
Excellent turn of events for the franchise, and I'm sure Gaglardi is committed/required to keep the team in Dallas and restore it to its former glory.