The New Jersey Devils are likely to be taken over by the National Hockey League around the time the season begins next month when teams begin cutting payroll checks unless a buyer for the team quickly steps up, according to multiple sources.
According to three sources, the NHL does not want the Devils to file for bankruptcy like the Phoenix Coyotes did in 2009. The Coyotes were recently sold for $170 million after going through an arduous lease renegotiation with the city of Glendale that kept taxpayers, players and fans in limbo for over three years.
Instead, the NHL would fund and operate the team while it sought a buyer. The Devils owe the league roughly $25 million and their payroll for the start of 2013-14 season is projected to be around $55 million.
At least they don't have to pay Kovy anymore. I heard on XM this morning that they still have over 200 mil in total debt and they missed the first payment on a newly structured agreement. Supposedly there are several groups looking to buy and get a deal done quickly, though Vanderbeek would still own a minority share.
I believe he was making fun of the fact that Devils fans dismissed every Post/Forbes article that hinted they were in any kind of financial distress. Pretty much everything the Post ever said that Devils fans vehemently denied turned out to have some traction. Including missing loan payments, having money loaned by outside sources to cover pension/escrow, and having money advanced by the NHL (most of which they will have to pay back).
Also I wouldn't be too excited just yet with this new ownership. This guy Harris is a businessman, not a philanthropist. He will do whatever it takes to make the team profitable, and if that should mean slashing payroll dramatically like he did with the 76ers, then the Devils might have some tough seasons ahead.
Who knows though, maybe he goes Pegula crazy and gives Lou a blank check so he overpays for every FA in sight. That is definitely a recipe for success. Rangers fans can attest to that...
The Sixers have the lowest payroll in the NBA. They traded away their best player to the Pelicans for futures. Andrew Bynum was a disaster and he is in Cleveland. Josh Harris hired former Garden president Scott O'Neil as Sixers CEO. Will O'Neil run the Devils too? You don't usually see an owner own two teams in different cities. Paul Allen owns the Seahawks and Trail Blazers. The DeBartolo family used to own the Penguins and the 49ers. Bill Davidson owed the Pistons and Lightning. The Sixers are breaking it down completely. $55M payroll for the Devils. Actual dollars spent. That will be one of the lowest in the NHL. Harris brought in his own people with the Sixers. Is Mr. Wall Street gonna genuflect when Lou walks into the room and continue to allow him carte blanche?