When Dave Checketts bought the St. Louis Blues after the team finished last in the NHL in the 2005-06 season, he was pretty universally praised as a savvy business man who was committed to building a winner the right way and keeping the team here in St. Louis. He was fan friendly, he put an easy to like guy in charge of hockey operation with John Davidson. Other than raising ticket prices (which he later admitted the league made him do it), he did everything right. If Jeremy Rutherford's story on STLToday Wednesday afternoon is correct, all of those good memories will be erased in the minds of most Blues fans.
Rich guy Max Chambers from Calgary said he made an offer of $167 million...in cash...for the St. Louis Blues. And Checketts' response was, "Not bad. I'd like to counter your offer and ask you to increase it to $190 million." He probably said it in more legal terms. Let's review just a few facts.
It's been more than a year since Towerbrook Partners, the largest investor in the ownership group, announced that they wanted out and that Checketts would be looking for someone to put up the money and allow him to still be the controlling partner.
In March Checketts announced that he was unable to find a buyer who would agree to those conditions.
Around that time, it was reported that Tom Stillman, a local minority owner, had made an offer of about $110 million for the team. Checketts called it unacceptable.
In August the Blues set an artificial deadline for offers to be submitted after making several self-proclaimed deadlines about finding new owners that came and passed with little comment from ownership. Since then, it seems Chambers' offer was the highest...and still wasn't high enough.
Alright, now that we're caught up, let's admit the obvious: this interview is a masterful PR move by Chambers to put pressure on Checketts in attempt to get some leverage in negotiations. If Chambers can stir up the base of customers, and it seemed like he did a good job online Wednesday, maybe he can force something.
Listen to how he laid it on nice and thick: