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Don't Worry ...Yet

By Jeff Ponder

While rumors are swirling that the Blues are in financial distress yet again and it is making Blues fans run to their shelters and worry that the Armageddon of the Blues moving out of St. Louis is upon us, I will sit here and write this story without a drop of sweat in my brow on a very overcast day in the Gateway City.

It was reported on Tuesday that Towerbrook Capital Partners have divested their share of investment and it could easily have an effect on SCP Worldwide, Blues Owner Dave Checketts' company. Could this ultimately lead to the end of Checketts as the owner of the hockey club? Possibly, but it is also possible that Roman Polak could be a werewolf.

"Dave Checketts and SCP Worldwide have done a remarkable job of restoring the pride and passion of the St. Louis Blues," Towerbrook said in a statement published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"We joined this investment group because of the many past investment successes we have had with Dave. We knew that he, along with his partners, would help revive this franchise and they have delivered since day one. It now sits on a very solid foundation, one that we have been very proud to help rebuild.”

What does this mean for the Blues organization? Is Checketts going to pull a Bill Laurie and disappear from St. Louis and the hockey world faster than Shayne Corson? Not likely.

This is not a statement by Checketts saying that his company is going bankrupt. Last time I checked, Checketts is still a millionaire who has every intention of gaining as much revenue from the Blues organization as he can. Investment firms pull out of ventures all the time; this share will likely be picked up by another firm looking to make some extra bucks and this supposed debacle will be all but a distant memory.

Even if this financial bump in the road for SCP Worldwide causes a disaster for the future, it will be hard for the Blues to be moved out of St. Louis. Take a look at Phoenix; several outside companies have tried to buy the franchise and have threatened to move them and the NHL and Arizona courts are fighting to keep them in Glendale. Even after a year, the NHL has protected the team and kept them right where they were in the past. Also keep in mind that going into the fiasco last summer, the Coyotes ranked 28th in average attendance the season before, yet the NHL still did not want team relocation. The Blues, who have been in the top ten teams in the league in average attendance for the past two years, would be an even tougher team to move due to their long history in the city and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman realizing that St. Louis have been a moneymaker for the NHL in the past.

So why worry? There is a reason that Checketts is the CEO of a multimillion dollar company. He knows how to appeal to investors and draw them into new ventures. Towerbrook Capital Partners is a worldwide investment company that is based in the East Coast. Its highly unlikely that it was their idea to invest in a team that, at the time, had a dying fan base and zero history of being a league champion.

In Dave I trust. He will do what is best for the organization to succeed because, after all, he is a businessman who loves the sight of money. He will look out for his company and that means finding another big-time investor. His intentions are to bring in money from Blues fans. He has not shown signs of owning the team just because he wanted a basketball team then trying to find a way to weasel his way out of ownership like a certain former Blues owner.

I want to apologize to my regular readers because of the tardiness of this article. You can stay tuned with Jeff Ponder's BluesNetMix blog by checking in every Tuesday from now on at bluesnetmix.com.


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