Hull's goals with the Blues are simple -- more revenue and a Stanley Cup

News-DemocratSeptember 9, 2013 

— Brett Hull was never quiet during his playing days -- and he had a lot to say Monday after being named Executive Vice President of the St. Louis Blues.

Many of the questions thrown his way dealt with bringing a Stanley Cup to a franchise that hasn't had won one since joining the NHL in 1967.

"It's hard and there's been a lot of chances in this organization from day one," Hull said. "Good owners, bad owners, cheap owners, owners that like to spend. There's people that would spend the money properly, there's ones that didn't spend it properly and I think the game's changed now.

"With Tom (owner Tom Stillman) and Doug (General Manager Doug Armstrong) at the helm of the hockey team, you've got an owner that wants to win a Stanley Cup and you've got a GM that understands -- since winning one in Dallas -- he knows how to win one; who to draft and how to draft and how to build a team. We are headed in the right direction."

Hull said the franchise's business success goes hand in hand with success on the ice.

It's doubly important for a Blues franchise that has been sold four times since previous owner Mike Shanahan's run ended in 1991.

"It's hard economic times," Hull said. "It's a small market. It's not like we're the New York Rangers, who have a TV deal that helps everything. We need to dig in our heels and get to work and show the community that we're a class group.

"I think (when) anybody in the community and the business community sees a team that is classy and is doing the right things not only on the ice but off the ice.... they'll jump on board and be a part of it as well."

Hull said it took some time for him and Stillman to come together in terms of a position, but both share a common vision for the Blues.

Stillman and his St. Louis-based ownership group bought the team from the Dave Checketts-led group in 2012.

"You've got a guy that just bought an NHL franchise from a group that wasn't running it the right way, and so (you) had to give him time to get a grasp of the team and really learn what he had before I think he could really make that step," Hull said.

Hull and wife Darcy have been living in Dallas, where he spent time in the Stars' front office after his playing career ended.

One of Hull's first sales jobs is selling his wife on St. Louis.

"I like Dallas. My wife's from there, and I'm not saying she won't make me move back there one day," Hull said. "But right now, we're St. Louisans. We're going to buy a house here and sink our teeth in and get back. Rebuilding old relationships, making new ones."

Hull also has an ace up his sleeve -- the fine Italian restaurants on The Hill.

"Like I told her, St. Louis might be one of the most underrated cities in the whole country," Hull said. "It may take you a week or two. but you're going to fall in love with it. The people, the little towns, the Central West End, Clayton, West County...

"She's like me and she likes to eat. I might take her to The Hill. She might make me buy a house on The Hill so we can walk from restaurant to restaurant."

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, nsanders@bnd.com or on Twitter @NormSanders

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