Mark Cuban Wants In
According to a report in the Dallas Morning news (recapped in this TSN story), Mark Cuban could be looking to buy into the Dallas Stars. The eccentric Mavericks owner would not want to be the sole owner, but you can bet you'd hear a lot of him even if he owned a very small piece of the team.
Cuban would make for an interesting addition to the NHL's cast of characters. Not known for being the most outspoken of groups, players in the NHL are often chastised for saying anything that isn't a cliche in an interview. All you have to do is look at Sean Avery or Alex Burrows, or even someone like Jim Balsillie, who decided to go about his business differently than what the NHL was used to and got burned not once, not twice, but three times in his attempts to acquire an NHL franchise.
Cuban is notorious in the NBA for being outspoken on a number of topics, mostly criticisms of rules or officiating decisions. In a recent article on ESPN looking back at a decade of Cuban's tenure as Mavericks owner, Cuban's offenses are listed at having cost him over $1.65 million dollars (over 13 incidents), including one $200,000 fine for running onto the court during the playoff finals to criticize an official in 2006. To say that he has been a thorn in NBA commissioner David Stern's back for that period of time is a major understatement.
Could Cuban and the NHL be a fit? From a rational perspective, Cuban would bring publicity to the NHL, and a smart businessman will tell you that any press is good press, especially when you're the least popular of all major sports in the US. Cuban is a household name and willing to use his name to further himself and his businesses, and would be an asset to the NHL. Then again, the NHL has done business a very traditional way for a long time, and to change just to allow Marc Cuban to be a minority owner of the Stars would be a tough pill to swallow.
Nevertheless, any potential move is still a way's away, with Dallas owner Tom Hicks only recently announcing his intention to sell the team. But Cuban is to Dallas was the Molsons are to Montrealers, and the NHL would be smart to give him a chance.
If not for the publicity, then certainly for the added fine revenue!