Oct 5, 2011, 6:30 PM EST
When Matthew Hulsizer was in line to be the guy to help save the Phoenix Coyotes from imminent doom in the desert and purchase the team, it was a crushing disappointment for fans there when things couldn’t be pieced together as he gave up on trying to buy the moribund franchise.
Now, Hulsizer is set to be the guy that helps keep sanity alive in St. Louis as he’s got a verbal agreement to purchase the Blues from Dave Checketts.
Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the breaking news on Hulsizer’s new means of getting into the NHL ownership club.
Two of the sources said that Checketts has signed a letter of intent and believe the deal is with Hulsizer, although one source indicated that it’s a verbal agreement and is far from being completed. The deal is not considered binding and would not become official until the two sides enter a purchase agreement and it’s approved by the NHL.
It appears, however, that if the negotiations progress in the current direction, Hulsizer would become the Blues’ No. 1 investor and Checketts could remain in the management of the franchise.
Checketts was unavailable for comment Wednesday, according to a spokesman for his company, SCP Worldwide. Neither Hulsizer nor his business partner, Brad Goldberg, have returned messages left by the Post-Dispatch.
Checketts had always seemed reluctant to fully get out of the game but the financial concerns of ownership were becoming too much for him. The Blues have been sorting through bidders very carefully, but Hulsizer’s interest became apparent almost immediately after his deal with the Coyotes fell through.
If Hulsizer can get a deal worked out in St. Louis he’ll complete his quest to own a NHL team after spending months pursuing the Coyotes. His interest in the Blues is a good one for the franchise as he’s a midwest guy. Hopefully being from Chicago won’t be too big of a problem for Blues die-hards as their hate for the Blackhawks is large.
As we’ve seen with other ownership dealings in the past (most of them in Phoenix of late) a verbal agreement doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. Until documents are signed and resolved, nothing is over. For St. Louis, however, if they can get a deal done it’ll fulfill their hopes of having a sale at or near done before the season is fully underway. Better late than never I suppose.
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