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Board of Governors approves sale of St. Louis Blues

Wednesday, 05.09.2012 / 1:46 PM / News

ST. LOUIS -- The NHL Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve the sale of the Blues to a group led by current minority owner Tom Stillman, CEO of Summit Distributing of St. Louis.

Stillman has a group of investors that will purchase the Blues, the team's American Hockey League affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, the lease to Scottrade Center and a percentage of the Peabody Opera House from outgoing owner Dave Checketts.

The closing of the sale is expected to be finalized Wednesday. The Blues have scheduled a press conference for Thursday.

Stillman's investment group includes the Taylor family, who own St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings, former U.S. Sen. John Danforth, who is Stillman's father-in-law, Donn Lux, CEO of Luxco, and Steve Maritz, CEO of Maritz, Inc. Also, former Blue Brett Hull, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, is expected to be a part of the new management team.

The sale of the team comes days after the Blues were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference Semifinals in a series sweep by the Los Angeles Kings.

Stillman, a passionate hockey fan who is known to lace up the skates often, has been a minority owner since 2007.

"A local guy that's passionate about the game, he's around the rink as much as the players are," captain David Backes said Tuesday as the team cleaned out its lockers after the series loss to Los Angeles. "He's on road trips, he's skating himself with [Blues] alumni.

"A guy that's passionate, from the St. Louis area ... what more could you want. It's nice to hopefully have that situation stabilized and stop talking about it and get onto business, which is in the ice and taking care of business there."

Checketts purchased the Blues in 2006 from Bill and Nancy Laurie.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery