Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 11/21/11

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 16: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference before the NHL game between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Tampa Bay Lightning at Jobing.com Arena on November 16, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
A new era officially began for the Dallas Stars on early Monday afternoon when in a press conference at American Airlines Center, National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman officially introduced Tom Gaglardi as the club's new owner. "We are grateful to both Norm Green and Tom Hicks for what they've done to get us to this point. This point is I think a defining moment for this franchise as we move forward. If the level of determination and perseverance that Tom Gaglardi has shown in the pursuit of this franchise is any indication of the future, the future is extraordinarily bright and people will again be celebrating the Stanley Cup here," Bettman said. Gaglardi is a successful 43-year-old businessman from Vancouver whose company controls a wide variety of business interests, including the Kamloops Blazers, a club in the junior-level Western Hockey League. Hockey has been his passion since he first picked up a stick at age five and that fire continues to burn as he still makes time to hit the ice at least several times per week. "I'm so thrilled to be here. It is a very special day for me. This is truly one of the best days of my life. I'm so honored and humbled to have a franchise in the National Hockey League, especially one that I spent my whole life growing up in Vancouver admiring," Gaglardi said. "I love the game, very passionate about the game. It's my favorite sport and the best game in the world. I've played the game since I was five-years-old and continue to play once or twice a week believe it or not. I want to thank my teammates for still allowing me to play on the team." Early on in his remarks to those assembled for his introductory presser, he likely scored some points with some poignant remarks directed at the Stars fan base. "I know the last couple of years have been especially hard for Stars fans. Thank you for your patience and support and please know the uncertainty is now over," he said. Gagliardi has consulted with both of the club's former owners in Big D, Norm Green, who helped bring the club to Dallas from Minnesota in 1993 and the Stars' most recent owner, Tom Hicks. And he's already made one change to the organization, bringing former President Jim Lites back for a third stint with the organization. Lites was instrumental in helping not only the Stars build a sizable fan base early on but in helping grow the game from the grassroots level on up through the opening of a number of Dr Pepper Star Centers. Bringing him back into the organization was basically a no-brainer for the new owner. "On the business side, having Jim Lites at the helm of the Stars is really an owner's dream," Gaglardi said. "He knows the market. He loves the game and he is totally committed to bringing the Stars back to their rightful position as one of the elite franchises in the National Hockey League. Jim knows what to do. It'll take some time but it's going to get done." So, while Stars fans are relieved to see new ownership and also excited about what good things the future might hold in store, there is another group that's also pretty fired up about the regime change now being official, the Stars players. While the lack of an owner didn't affect the product on the ice, several current players admitted those issues were always in the back of everyone's mind and that it's nice to now have those officially be in the rearview mirror. "Yeah, it is nice to have that stability," Dallas captain Brenden Morrow said. "We look forward to it. It's good to have some stability. If it was distracting to some people, that's no longer an issue." Defenseman Nicklas Grossman agreed. "It's a little re-energizing for the club," Grossman said. "We like the passion that he brings. He's real excited to come to work with us. We've been looking to get an owner to run the ship a little bit for us. It's real exciting to have him and it's going to be real fun to get going with him." Now that the Stars officially have an owner, they can get back to what really matters, ending their current losing streak, a run which has reached five games. Their next chance to do so comes tonight when the new-and-improved Edmonton Oilers hit the sheet at the AAC for the first meeting of the year between these two Western Conference clubs.
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