Former Blues great Brett Hull has expressed interest in being part of Tom Stillman's investment group that is seeking to buy the hockey team, NHL sources have told the Post-Dispatch.
Hull is not officially part of the group, but his intent has been communicated to the league and to Stillman, who is currently the Blues' minority owner.
Sources believe that Hull, 47, has a desire to become more than an investor in Stillman's group, and in fact, could have a role within the organization, a marriage that some Blues fans have supported since No. 16 retired from the NHL in 2005.
When reached late Saturday night, Hull wrote via text message that he had "no comment." Stillman also declined to comment.
The Blues were officially put on the market by club chairman Dave Checketts last March. On Oct. 28, sources told the Post-Dispatch that Checketts signed a purchase agreement to sell the team to Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer, but four weeks later, neither side has formally announced the agreement. The reason for the holdup in the announcement is unclear.
The deal, according to sources, plans for Hulsizer to be the majority owner and control a 70 percent stake in the club, with Checketts holding nearly 30 percent. The sale price for the package, which includes the Blues, the Scottrade Center lease, the team's top minor-league affiliate and the Peabody Opera House, is about $130 million.
Sources have said that Checketts' investment would be $20 million. If half of the $130 million sale price is financed, which is common, Hulsizer's investment would be $45 million.
Meanwhile, sources say that Stillman, who has been the Blues' minority owner since 2007, appears to be watching and waiting to see what happens with the Hulsizer bid.
Stillman has made at least two offers to buy the Blues, but both were rejected. After he submitted an initial offer of $110 million, sources said the second bid was higher, perhaps as much as $120 million to $130 million.
The addition of Hull would add significant star power to what is already a well-known group of local investors, including former U.S. Sen. Jack Danforth, who is Stillman's father-in-law; Steve Maritz, CEO of Maritz Inc., a sales and marketing services company based in Fenton; Donn Lux, CEO of Luxco, a liquor producer based in St. Louis; and the Taylor family, owners of St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings, which ranks No. 16 on Forbes' "500 Largest Private Companies in America" with $14.1 billion in revenue.
Hull played 11 seasons with the Blues from 1988-98. He finished as the franchise's all-time leader in goals scored (527) and is second behind Bernie Federko in assists (409) and points (936).
In 1998, Hull signed with the Dallas Stars, for whom he scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal in 1999. He won his second Cup in 2002 with the Detroit Red Wings before wrapping up his career with Phoenix in 2005. He closed his career with 741 goals, which ranks third in NHL history.
In 2006, the Blues retired Hull's No. 16, making him one of six players in franchise history to receive that honor. In 2009, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Hull has been involved in the Stars' organization since retiring.