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Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer is close to a takeover of the St. Louis Blues.

Matthew Hulsizer will soon be the owner of the St. Louis Blues.

A source close to the sale confirmed a report by blogger Andy Strickland in St. Louis that the Chicago businessman has agreed to buy the team for $185-million (U.S.). The deal also includes the lease to the Scottrade Center, the Peabody Opera house next to the arena and the Blues' American Hockey League team in Peoria, Ill.

Hulsizer still needs the approval of the NHL's board of governors but that is not expected to be a problem. The governors gave their approval to Hulsizer once already when he planned to buy the Phoenix Coyotes but that sale fell apart.

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Dave Checketts, the Blues chairman and a minority owner, will maintain a connection with the NHL team, at least for the near future.

Also expected to become part of the new ownership group is former Tampa Bay Lightning co-owner Oren Koules, who is also from Chicago. He does not have an agreement with Hulsizer yet but is expected to sign on shortly as a minority owner.

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Hockey columnist

A native of Wainfleet, Ont., David Shoalts joined The Globe in 1984 after working at the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and Toronto Sun. He graduated in 1978 from Conestoga College and also attended the University of Waterloo. More

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