Tyler Dellow, who writes a hockey blog called mc79hockey.com, did some digging in the court files and managed to confirm what sources were telling us for a long time – the NHL, despite its denials, was keeping the Dallas Stars afloat after former owner Tom Hicks threw in the towel.
In a blog post, Dellow has some fun with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman using a declaration made in court Sept. 15 by Robert Hutson, the head bean counter for the Stars. He explained how the Stars, their bankers and the NHL set up a deal to pump some badly-needed cash into the team.
The money came from what was called a “prepetition CFV lender.” This just happened to be a body that was set up as a subsidiary of the NHL.
This subsidiary got the cash in the form of a loan from some of the bankers who were Hicks’ creditors. Now that Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi will not face any competing bids in his attempt to buy the Stars and half of their arena out of bankruptcy, he will soon be the new owner. Part of the deal, which is no doubt built into the purchase price is that Gaglardi will pay off the loan held by the prepetition CFV lender, which could be as much as $50-million (all currency U.S.).
Hence the deniability for Bettman and other NHL executives that the league was keeping another team afloat in addition to the Phoenix Coyotes.
The purchase price, by the way, will include paying off at least some of the money Hicks owed his bankers in addition to the NHL loan plus the assumption of other debts and liabilities held by the Stars. This could make up the bulk of the final sale price, which is said to be somewhere around $265-million.