Stars moving forward as they wait for sale

May, 31, 2011
5/31/11
3:20
PM CT
It appears the quest for a new Dallas Stars owner could carry into July or possibly beyond, but that doesn’t mean the team will be paralyzed as it waits for a deal to get done.

With the Stars in need of a new head coach and free agency opening on July 1, Stars interim president Tony Tavares said the team will conduct business normally while the ownership situation gets resolved.

“My goal over the next 30 days is to make sure that [GM] Joe [Nieuwendyk] has a budget he can work with,” Tavares said. “Joe has the authority now to go out and interview coaches. He and I will get together on the final decision. We need to be able to function in a normal fashion. As long as we do that, I am OK.”

The Stars are one of five NHL teams looking for a new head coach, so not having to wait for new ownership puts them in a much better competitive position on that front. The budget has yet to be determined.

As for the sale of the team, Tavares said he’s not at the point where he can give any kind of timeline, details or who is involved, but did report there has been progress.

“We got a little sidetracked the last week to ten days or so. These are complicated deals and it’s not unusual for that to happen,” Tavares said. “But we seem to be completely back on track and I am ever more optimistic about getting something done here with ownership. As for an exact date, I can’t tell you because when you have as many lawyers as we have involved in this process right now, it takes longer than you want it to. Hopefully we can be more instructive over the next few weeks as to what is going on.”

Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi is believed to be in an exclusive negotiating period to finalize an agreement to buy the Stars. That’s just a first step in the process, which would still need to go through bankruptcy court where other bidders could top Gaglardi’s offer.

It still unclear exactly how long the process will take, but it will carry into July and possibly a bit longer. Either way, the process has picked up some steam and is moving forward.

"There has been progress," said Tavares.

Mark Stepneski

ESPNDallas.com
Mark Stepneski joined ESPNDallas.com in July 2010. A former news/special projects producer for KXAS-TV, he has run the Andrew's Dallas Stars Page website since 1997.

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