If there was ever a sign that Brad Richards may be signed come July 1st, then this revelation may just be it.
Today it was revealed that Douglas Miller, owner of CHL team the Allen Americans, has made an initial offer for the Dallas Stars organisation, reportedly worth around $110 million.
That sounds low for an NHL side, but that's because the team has debt which came from the Tom Hicks era of ownership. This means the lenders (who currently own the team) are going to place the current $20 million on to the price and project around four years worth of $25 million-per-year losses on top of that. The net result is the team is likely to be sold at around $230 million.
Douglas Miller is an Oil Tycoon in the Dallas area, and has led the Allen Americans, in only two years of existence, to qualify twice for the CHL playoffs. They came in second last year in the Berry Conference, and are currently 15 points in the lead this season.
The Americans are an affiliate of the Dallas Stars, who frequently send players up to the AHL side Texas Stars. Recently they have sent up Jamie Benn's brother, Jordie Benn, to play in Texas.
Douglas Miller is reportedly a very passionate Dallas Stars fan, which is an ideal fit for the franchise. Having a man on board who knows what this team wants, what it means to be a Dallas Star, and what it means to sell hockey in Texas can only prove vital for a team which garners little national coverage.
It is also reported that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban may join him in this venture. Cuban sees this as a perfect opportunity to have a stake in both teams which both play at the American Airlines Center. He is not willing to go it alone in a deal, but is quoted as saying "I will talk to anyone who is interested in the Stars, because I would like to get control of the arena".
This is not necessarily a good thing, but as Miller would be the leader going forward, Cuban's money may help the team out in extending the budget to the salary cap, something the team currently does not do.
This news is part of the speculated six parties that are interested in buying the Stars. In December, Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi pulled out of buying the team, but Bill Gallacher (a Calgary based Oil tycoon) is supposedly interested again after enquiring about the team through 2010.
The implications of this are quite significant. It means the Stars have a chance of signing Brad Richards if everything goes well. He wants to stay in Dallas, but won't stay if there is another Tampa-Bay-esque ownership situation. If the buyers come in and take the team before July 1st, then Nieuwendyk's big gamble yesterday may have just kept Richards in Dallas.