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Tom Stillman Celebrates After The Blues First Round Win

from Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St, Louis Post-Dispatch,

Joined by his wife, Mary, and several members of the Blues’ ownership group, Chairman Tom Stillman struggled to contain his emotions as he watched his players celebrate late Monday at Scottrade Center.

He surveyed the crowd and breathed in the thunderous atmosphere. Those were his players hugging and celebrating on the ice. Equally important to him, if not more: Those were his people dancing, yelling and rejoicing among the standing-room-only crowd of 19,935.

Stillman celebrated in his suite after the Blues eliminated the defending NHL champion Blackhawks in Game 7. Then the moment sunk in, sending a few tears down his cheek.

“It was very emotional,” Stillman said. “We very much wanted to break through, and we felt like that was just an important thing for our franchise to accomplish. So it was a release of tension and anxiety and a relief. And then just happiness.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
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All Tom Stillman

from Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

As Blues chairman Tom Stillman waited for recipients to show up at a food bank in Jennings on July 21, he talked about the state of the Blues. The answers have been edited for clarity. The questions have been edited to make them more concise.

Q: Is it tough when you have to trade someone like T.J. Oshie, who’s been around this franchise so long?

A: Honestly, that and Barret Jackman’s departure are, on a personal level, difficult for me. It is really a hard part of the business. I’m comfortable we’re doing the right thing for the team and all, but those two individuals in particular are really wonderful people. I am sad to see them go. It’s weird to see how the guys can just be uprooted, especially in a trade. Those two guys, they were always immediately willing to do anything to help. Barret Jackman showed up everywhere. He was at the Mathews-Dickey event last year, he would have been here (at the food bank in Jennings). T.J. Oshie, anything you asked him, he’d say, Sure, I’ll do that. He was the guy that was on his knees taking a picture with a kid. I remember at an away game, they had to pull him out of the autograph line. That’s the kind of guy he is. Personally, it’s the tough side of the business.
Obviously, they’ve both been here a long time, and T.J., we saw him grow up here. You become, not close, but friendly with them. I think a lot of fans have sort of a fatherly or motherly view of some of our younger players who have grown up here, so it’s tough to see.

Q: The NHL recently announced that it could expand beyond 30 teams. Would expansion be a good thing for the league?

A: It remains to be seen. The process is open, there’s no commitment that there will be expansion. There’s a long way to go and the league will take a very careful look at it and make sure it’s the right thing on a macro sense for the league and any market candidate will be looked at very carefully. The league is really healthy, it’s hitting on all cylinders. I don’t think it’s ever been stronger, and looking forward to some of the things they have coming down the pike, rather it’s new sponsorship deals, a new level of interest from a number of people, there’s just a lot of things going on.


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
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The Hockey Playing Owner

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

St. Louis Blues owner Tom Stillman initially thought a friend was playing a joke on him, but he knew that couldn't be the case because the name and number that came up on his phone was one that he had saved in his contacts folder.

Wayne Gretzky.

The Great One was indeed calling the new owner of the Blues to invite him to be his guest at the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp.

"It's maybe the most surreal experience I've had since I got involved with the Blues," Stillman told NHL.com Tuesday morning before playing in his first game at the Fantasy Camp. "Really, I can remember times when people used to leave phone messages for me saying it was Wayne Gretzky, ha ha, but it was him and he was asking me to come to the event, saying that they were planning to wear Blues uniforms this year so they'd like me to come.

"When the Great One calls, what are you going to do? You're going to go. This is the hockey fantasy camp of fantasy camps."


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New Blues’ Owner Talks Cap And Contending

from Jeremy Rutherord of the St, Louis Post-Dispatch,

Tom Stillman has been owner of the Blues for less than two months, but he acknowledges that the astronomical increase creates issues for his club, which under previous ownership had the eighth-lowest payroll in the league ($54.9 million) last season.

“As the cap keeps going up, it makes it more difficult for a mid-market team to be competitive —that’s kind of stating the obvious,” Stillman said. “You have the revenues of a minority of the markets — the larger markets that are pulling that up because their revenue bases are so large — and yet we’re all subject to that same structure. It just makes it harder for a mid-market team to compete with the Torontos and the Montreals and the Philadelphias.

“I don’t see us being a cap team any time soon, but we definitely can compete — if I thought we couldn’t put a contending team on the ice, I wouldn’t have done this.”

But Sunday, the first day of NHL free agency, will bring the single strongest reminder of the separation between the large markets and the rest of the league. It’s an already thin field of blockbuster free agents this year, but if New Jersey forward Zach Parise and Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter reach unrestricted free-agent status Sunday as expected, one can see several deep-pocket franchises being among the first in line to make a face-to-face pitch for their services.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
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Tom Stillman Signs Purchase Agreement For The St. Louis Blues

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

A group led by Blues minority owner Tom Stillman has signed a purchase agreement to buy the club, a source has told the Post-Dispatch.

The Blues and Stillman must now complete the sale and have it approved by the NHL, a process that could take several weeks. The league’s Board of Governors will meet Jan. 28 in Ottawa during the all-star festivities, but it’s expected that only an update on the Blues’ situation would be discusssed, not a vote.

The step of Stillman’s group signing a purchase agreement comes 2 1/2 weeks after the NHL terminated a purchase agreement between the Blues and Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer. The league then granted Stillman an exclusive negotiating window, leading to today’s news of a signed purchase agreement.

The price of the package, which includes the Blues, the team’s top minor-league affiliate in Peoria, Ill., the Scottrade Center lease and significant interest in the Peabody Opera House, is expected to be approximately $130-135 million.


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
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