Stillman, the chair and CEO of Summit Distributing in St. Louis, was a minority partner of the Blues with the outgoing Dave Checketts and SCP Worldwide group. They’d held the Blues since 1997.
Now, Stillman owns a majority of the franchise with a group of 15 partners. The group owns the Blues, the lease to Scottrade Center, the team’s American Hockey League affiliate Peoria Rivermen and interest in the Peabody Opera House.
“We think this is a monumental, historic and really terrific day for St. Louis and for the Blues,” said Bettman. “We know how important St. Louis is to the NHL as a hockey market and we also know how important the Blues are to St. Louis as evidenced by the fact that there are so many active alumni from the Blues who choose to stay here and live in retirement here.”
“To have the opportunity to lead this organization, to be stewards of its present and future, is way beyond my wildest dreams,” Stillman said. “It’s an honor that I take very seriously, as will the rest of our group. A lot of times I didn’t think it was going to happen. It was something I thought, and the members of our group thought, was the right outcome. I said to some people if there was another strong local option, I’d have been OK with that, too. I thought it [was] best to have the Blues franchise in the hands of local owners. That’s the best outcome for the Blues.”
According to NHL.com, the investment group includes “the Taylor family, which owns St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings, former U.S. Sen. John Danforth, who is Stillman’s father-in-law, Donn Lux, CEO of Luxco, and Steve Maritz, CEO of Maritz Inc.”
Stillman signed a purchase agreement in January after getting word that local investors would be interested in signing on.
“These are dedicated St. Louisans who’ve shown long-time commitment to our community,” St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said of Stillman and the new owners. “We know they will continue to lead the Blues in success in the future, and we appreciate that. The Blues have been a mainstay in our community for so many years. Not only are they a great and exciting team to watch on the ice, but they give back to our community in so many different ways as an organization and individually as players. We can only expect that their work and their commitment to grow and to get even stronger in the future.”
In other Blues news, Stillman is apparently trying to woo one Brett Hull into the new management team.