© St. Petersburg Times, published September 11, 2002
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Owning two professional teams is becoming a burden for Tom Hicks. So the owner of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars is reluctantly ready to unload the NHL club.
"It's like, 'Which kid do you love most?' " he said. "It's something I've struggled with. It's a hard decision. The Stars have accomplished everything I set out to do. As much as I love both sports, I have a stronger knowledge base of baseball."
Hicks said the sale of the Stars would help him concentrate more on the Rangers, who will finish last in the AL West for a third straight season.
"I am totally committed to transform the Texas Rangers into a team that competes every year for a division championship and eventually win its share of World Series championships," he said.
Personal factors also weighed in the decision by the 56-year-old.
"I thought long and hard about owning two sports teams," Hicks said. "Eighty-two baseball games, 42 hockey games, six kids, a wife I'm devoted to ... and that all works together with a day job where I try to run a private equity firm. I made a painful decision that I need to go from a two-team owner to a one-team owner."
A sale could take months to complete, and Hicks said he will insist on a hockey-loving, well-capitalized owner or ownership group with a commitment to winning.
"We're going to take our time and if we don't get it, I won't sell," he said.
SHARKS: Defenseman Gary Suter, a four-time All-Star, retired after 17 seasons. The 38-year-old had six goals and 27 assists in 82 games last season for the Sharks. A native of Madison, Wis., Suter was selected by Calgary in the eighth round of the 1984 draft. He signed with San Jose as a free agent in 1998.
Suter won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie in 1986 and was a member of Calgary's Stanley Cup-winning team in 1989. He played for the U.S. team at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, where he won silver at Salt Lake City.
CANADIENS: Goaltender Eric Fichaud, a former first-round draft pick, signed a one-year contract with Montreal after retiring a year ago.
AVALANCHE: Forward Alex Tanguay will take a $75,000 salary cut in his new one-year contract, but can earn more than $1-million in performance incentives.
PREDATORS: Ex-University of New Hampshire forward Darren Haydar, a finalist this year for the Hobey Baker award as Division I's top player, signed. Terms weren't given.
THRASHERS: Free-agent left wing Yuri Butsayev re-signed. Terms weren't given.
SABRES: The team might be forced to declare bankruptcy to settle its $157-million debt to Adelphia Communications before being cleared for any potential sale. "(Bankruptcy) might be inevitable," Erie County executive Joel Giambra said. "That's how (bad) the books are."