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The NHL may not be able to announce a sale of the Phoenix Coyotes this week but the league does expect the sale of the St. Louis Blues to close on Wednesday.



Two sources said prospective Blues owner Tom Stillman has his ownership group in place and approval from the NHL's board of governors is expected on Tuesday with the closing to follow the next day. The $130-million (all currency U.S.) purchase will see Stillman buy the Blues, their AHL team, the management rights to the Scottrade Center, and a share of the Peabody Opera House from Dave Checketts and TowerBrook Capital Partners LP, an investment fund.



The group put together by Stillman consists of people prominent in St. Louis business circles. The most well-known among them is the Taylor family, which owns Enterprise Holdings Inc., which operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car.

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According to a source familiar with Stillman's plans, the only management departure from the Blues in the wake of the sale will be Checketts. Blues president John Davidson, general manager Doug Armstrong and head coach Ken Hitchcock, who turned the team around on the ice, are all expected to retain their positions.

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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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