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Gretzky & Modano: Clearing up Stars ownership mess

Image (1) Modano-thumb-200x300-8074.jpg for post 551

This morning I was alerted to a story in the Dallas Observer that stated that Wayne Gretzky had been linked to a possible Stars ownership group along with Mike Modano and Brett Hull. Since the Dallas Observer is not exactly known for breaking sports news, I was questionable as to the validity of the report. Since then, a flurry of action has happened in response to the story. Here’s a rundown of just what is being said.

First, here’s the report from the Observer:

The greatest hockey player ever is teaming with two of the sport’s most iconic local faces in an attempt to buy the Dallas Stars, according to two sources familiar with the organization’s current business landscape. With long-time owner Tom Hicks intent on selling the team, a group led by Wayne Gretzky, Mike Modano and Brett Hull has emerged as a serious bidder.

“It’s nothing formal, as if they’re about to sign on the dotted line,” says one source. “But it’s gone past kicking the tires. This could happen.”

Seems straightforward enough. It’s outlandish, but not completely out of the question. After all, this is three hall of fame players teaming up to own one hockey franchise. Greg Wyshynski from Puck Daddy is simply agog at the idea:

... if there’s anything to it, a plea to Tom Hicks: Sell, baby, sell. We all want to see what three Hall of Famers do as a hydra of NHL ownership. Maybe they lead this franchise back to the Stanley Cup. Or maybe they do something immensely silly, like firing Dave Tippett for Marc Crawford. Wait, what?

Of course, almost as soon as the report hit the internet and people started to freak out at the possibilities, Mike Modano released this statement courtesy of Stars PR:

“I haven’t spoken to Gretzky about any possible ownership situation,” Modano said in a statement released by the Stars. “I don’t know anything about this.”

Listening to Modano talk in various interviews over the past week, he’s made it sound as if he’s just focusing on enjoying what are possibly his final games in a Stars jersey, in what is likely his final NHL season. He’s invited his parents to see him play the final regular season game in Minnesota, and any questions about his future after this season are instantly shrugged aside. He’s mentioned being interested in possibly taking a minor ownership role with the team, but teaming up with Gretzky? That’s something I just don’t see happening.

What’s interesting is that Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News says that he had heard Hull was interested in putting together a group as well, which was promptly shot down by Hull last week.

So we have a Dallas Observer report, and two of the people involved flat out denying any knowledge of any potential ownership group. Here in a few months, we could certainly hear how the three are involved and just didn’t want to acknowledge the reports while Modano was still playing but for now, it’s all speculation.