It's official: Stars sold to Gaglardi

The Dallas Stars officially have a new owner. A bankruptcy court in Delaware on Friday approved the sale of the team to Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi and confirmed the Stars’ prepackaged bankruptcy plan.

The NHL Board of Governors approved Gaglardi earlier this week by a fax vote, and the sale closed Friday afternoon.

Today’s events bring to a close a tough chapter in Stars’ history that began when Hicks Sports Group ran into hard financial times, defaulted on $525 million in loans in 2009, put the club up for sale in early 2010 and eventually saw the team run by the league and lenders.

Gaglardi is the President of Northland Properties Corporation, which he and his family run. The company owns and operates hotels and restaurants Canada and employs more than 10,000 people.

Gaglardi leads the ownership group of the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League. The ownership group includes Shane Doan, Mark Recchi, Jarome Iginla and Darryl Sydor.

Gaglardi, a life-long hockey fan, has strong Texas ties. His mother is from Longview and he has family in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

He’ll take over a team that, according to court documents, lost $37.9 million in the last fiscal year and $91.5 million over the last three seasons. The Stars are expected to lose $31 million this season.

Court documents state that Gaglardi is “committed to keeping the Stars in Dallas and rebuilding the franchise both in terms of on-ice success and the fan experience.”

Gaglardi, whose bid for the team has been estimated at $265 million, has hired former Stars president Jim Lites to return as the team’s president. That’s a job Lites held from 1993 to 2007, except for a brief period in 2002 when he was the president and CEO of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Gaglardi will be introduced at a news conference in Dallas on Monday. He will drop the puck at the Stars-Oilers game on Monday night.