According to Brad Richards, one of the biggest issues with him staying in Dallas has been the uncertainty of their ownership situation. David Shoalts of the Toronto Globe & Mail is reporting that the ownership roadblock to Richards staying in Dallas is getting closer to being resolved. Shoalts reports that Tom Gaglardi, a Vancouver businessman, has taken another step forward in the process to buy the Stars and that he could be the owner as soon as the end of May.
Declaring bankruptcy is opposed by the NHL, according to the source, but it is viewed as a necessity because of the Stars’ long list of creditors. It is hoped the sale can be completed by the end of May, but that is not certain as the bidders who lost out to Gaglardi in this round could resurface in bankruptcy court.
Brandon Worley at Defending Big D, points out that this isn’t the end of the process and by no means
indicates this is a lock to be finished.
Two very important facts to take note of from this report, if true: This is the closest we’ve been to the sale actually going through since the team was put on the market well over a year ago, and just because Gagliardi has agreed to terms doesn’t mean that the sale is anywhere near final. He still has, apparently, a 30 day window of exclusive negotiating to narrow down the price and terms of the sale and there’s also the very real chance this thing has to go to bankruptcy court first.
While not exactly a certainty, it appears that the sale getting done prior to the unofficial “deadline” of July 1st is getting closer to becoming a very real possibility.
In terms of the Rangers pursuit of Richards, Dallas getting a stable ownership situation would certainly hinder the chances of him leaving, but it is not nearly as certain as Shoalts makes it seem. A stable Dallas is likely Richards first choice, but the longer this process drags on the more he will start to mentally think about being elsewhere and the lure of New York, and playing for coach John Tortorella again will creep into his mind. Certainly not a great development for the Rangers, but not a death blow just yet.