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Dallas Stars sale heads to court Add to ...

Lawyers for Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi will be in the U.S. Bankruptcy court in Delaware on Monday to make the next step in the sale of the Dallas Stars.

A judge will hear motions to let the NHL team continue operations and to hold a hearing to establish the bidding procedure and deadlines for the rest of the steps in the sale. Gaglardi filed a bankruptcy plan last week with the court in which he offered to pay about $265-million (all currency U.S.) in total, including a pledge to pay most of the team’s creditors.

However, that pledge does not mean the consortium of banks that holds most of the debt will get paid in full. Outgoing Stars owner Tom Hicks set off the bankruptcy and sale in 2009 when he defaulted on $525-million in loans. Someone close to the sale said the banks are going to take a haircut but are reluctantly going along with Gaglardi’s offer because it is the best one available.

The offer will also serve as a stalking-horse bid for the bankruptcy court, which means other parties can file a higher bid with the court. However, Stars insiders do not expect any competing bids and Gaglardi may take control of the team in the next two months if he gets the expected approval from the NHL’s board of governors.

Once Gaglardi is in charge, Stars fans can expect a strong marketing push to win them back, as the team’s ticket sales eroded badly in Hicks’ final years. There may also be a new president on the way, since current president Tony Tavares, a veteran NHL executive, was appointed by the banks to look after the team during the bankruptcy and sale.

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