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Sale of the St. Louis Blues gets interesting

The situation regarding the St. Louis Blues sale grew interesting this week when it was reported NHL commissioner Gary Bettman enforced a deadline that put Matthew Hulsizer's bid out of contention for now.

This means minority owner Tom Stillman and his group of local partners is back in front. But it doesn't look like they are home and cooled out. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the details on the murky situation.

Representatives for Hulsizer and Stillman could not be immediately reached for comment.

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Since Bettman does not often enforce sale deadlines (see Coyotes, Phoenix), this is intriguing. While the Post-Dispatch report indicates Hulsizer was doing some tap-dancing on his financing, the deadline could be Bettman's way of showing he likes Stillman's group better.

Stillman, who holds 10 per cent of the Blues, is also the chairman and chief executive officer of Summit Distributing, which handles beer. Even better, he has a blue-chip group of partners headed by the Taylor family, which owns Enterprise Holdings.

Enterprise Holdings counts Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car among its subsidiaries. The company is also based in St. Louis, which would fend off any talk, no matter how far-fetched, of the Blues moving.

Landing such a well-heeled ownership group is a big deal for the NHL, which has more than enough owners held together by chewing gum and binder twine.

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About the Author
Hockey columnist

A native of Wainfleet, Ont., David Shoalts joined The Globe in 1984 after working at the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and Toronto Sun. He graduated in 1978 from Conestoga College and also attended the University of Waterloo. More

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