The right person to buy the St. Louis Blues hockey team is Mark Cuban.
Don't laugh. I realize he has little connection to St. Louis. The Pittsburgh native graduated from Indiana University and eventually moved to Dallas where his entrepreneurial ways got him to where he is today -- one of the 500 wealthiest people in the world worth more than $2.5 billion. He made his money through innovative ventures like broadcasting sports over the Internet and starting an HD-only satellite channel. He owns the Dallas Mavericks, the new champions of the NBA. He obviously likes a challenge. Hello opportunity in the form of a franchise that has never won a game in the Stanley Cup Final.
When Cuban took over the Mavericks, they had a 40 percent winning percentage the 20 years before he bought them in 2000. In the 10 full seasons since, they haven't missed the playoffs. In 2006 they made their first NBA Finals and won this year in a striking rout of the heavily hyped Miami Heat. Let me list the reasons why Cuban is the man with the plan for Stan(ley).
11. The NHL is filled with boring, stiff, nondescript owners. He would instantly be the life of the party. And as long as he would keep the team here, the league would approve the sale. In a heartbeat. It would be free publicity for a league looking for a face fans would recognize outside the NHL.
10. He loves a challenge. The Mavericks were one of the perennial doormat teams of the NBA. Many of his business ventures have been off the beaten path. Helping deliver a winner for the St. Louis Blues would be a huge accomplishment.
9. Cuban is passionate. He sits courtside at Mavs games. He yells. He claps. He high fives. The guy lives and dies with his team. Blues fans are cut from the same clothe. He would instantly feed off the diehard fans of this team.
8. The Blues are a bargain. Valued by Forbes at about $160 million, that's $125 million less than he paid for the Mavericks 11 years ago. Entry into an established North American professional sports league doesn't come cheaper. And with more potential. With Dave Checketts reportedly missing a deadline to pay a $120 million loan last week...well let's just say the Blues might have a motivated seller at this point.
7. He's expressed interest in buying a baseball team, but was essentially black-balled by MLB owners when he tried to place a bid on the much more expensive Cubs. He's rumored to be interested in buying the financially troubled Dodgers. That iconic team is losing fans and money. The potential is there, but so are some huge headaches.
6. Cuban is familiar with operating in a capped league. The Mavericks had a reputation to go after every expensive veteran to make it deep in the playoffs. While they added a few key guys this year, the core of the Mavericks has been with the team for awhile. He's figured out how to win in a similar system to the NHL.
5. He doesn't have to know hockey even though he was rumored as part of a potential ownership group a few years ago for the Penguins in his hometown. There are good hockey people already in place. All he would have to do is listen to them. And get excited.
4. Just picture Cuban sitting right behind the visiting penalty box. It would be awesome.
3. Cuban has discussed the strength of North American TV ratings when it comes to the NHL and how Nielsen ratings don't include Canada. He knows there is potential in the NHL.
2. The Blues have had humble beginnings like him. They have been bold with player acquisitions and been slapped by the league. They need an innovator, a risk taker at the top of the organization. They reflect Cuban's personality and background. It's a good fit.
1. If Mark Cuban bought the Blues and won a Stanley Cup, he would be known as the miracle worker of sports. He would be endeared to St. Louis sports fans for life. Seeing him cry after the Mavs won the NBA championship, it shows how he cares. He would be speechless for a change if he saw Blues fans come out for a similar parade.
Mr. Cuban is no stranger to social media and the Internets. If you agree with me that he would be a great owner of the Blues and you'd like him to explore purchasing the team, reach out to him on Twitter. His profile is @mcuban. He will see responses to him. Retweet this story to him. Tweet him messages with the hashtag #stlblues4cuban.
What's the worst that could happen, he says no? Because if he got interested and somehow did buy the team, only good things could happen.