Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Thomas Zambito of the Star-Ledger,
Though the final chapter in team owner Jeff Vanderbeek’s nine-year stewardship of the Stanley Cup-winning franchise was written last week, the storyline was being drafted for several years, court records show.
Angry contractors, upset to find themselves on the hook for millions laid out for services essential to the Prudential Center’s day-to-day operations, turned to the courts to get the Devils to pay up.
The company that cleans the Prudential Center got dragged into litigation, as did the team’s primary food and beverage provider. Things got so bad that the team accused the concession company of refusing to feed Devils players during the fall of 2011. And the team accused the cleanup crews of finishing off beers patrons left behind.
And others, like Jeff Braverman, the co-owner of the family-run Newark Nut Co., a 75-year-old city landmark, walked away feeling betrayed.
“It was just a terrible situation,” Braverman said.
from Dave Lozo of The Score,
To me, based on the standards of previous Hall entrants, Elias is sitting right on the bubble.
The 37-year-old, who signed a three-year contract with the Devils this summer, has 375 goals and 930 points in 1,090 career regular-season games, all with New Jersey. He has been just as good in the postseason, posting 45 goals and 125 points in 162 career games. Breaking it down to points per game, that’s 0.85 in the regular season and 0.77 in the playoffs.
Where do those numbers rank Elias as of today? Glad you asked. It’s a good question. The 0.85 number ranks him 138th all-time, while the 0.77 figure ranks him 120th all-time. In terms of totals, Elias’ 930 points rank him 92nd all-time, while his 125 playoff points rank him 45th all-time.
If Elias averages 70 games per season over the next three seasons and dips to 0.75 points per game over that time, he will (likely) finish his career at the age of 40 with 1,087 points.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
It’s been quite a couple of weeks for Gary Bettman: He finally got the Phoenix Coyotes sold and, on Thursday, managed to accomplish the same for the NHL’s other big financial headache, the New Jersey Devils.
However, since the NHL commissioner is always economical with the details of these transactions (and it is always made clear to new owners to follow suit), it is hard to tell if the fix is as deep and effective as all concerned like to make out at the happy news conference announcing the sale.
“There’s been a lot of speculation and most of it has been wrong,” was all Bettman said Thursday about the sale price of the Devils.
A day earlier, though, someone well-versed in the proceedings was telling reporters in New Jersey that soon-to-be-former owner Jeff Vanderbeek would get “more than $320-million” for the Devils and the operating rights to the Prudential Center from Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who head a group that also owns the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA.
However, no one in NHL or investment-banking circles your agent spoke to believed that whopper.
Bettman and the new owners turned aside several requests for clarification on the financial details of the sale during Thursday’s news conference.
"They want to give to the New Jersey Devils fans an off-ice experience, they want to make a commitment that [but] more important to me, a commitment to winning. They really know what is necessary to win and what it takes. Everyone wants to win but not everyone knows how. They're creative, they're intuitive and they want to get an edge in every way they can. I'm comfortable with that and I'm honored to be here and stay here in New Jersey with the New Jersey Devils."
-Lou Lamoriello on the new ownership group of the New Jersey Devils. More at the Devils' website.
The Devils are expected to introduce their new ownership group beginning at 11:00am ET today.
You can watch it below...
added 11:20am, New Jersey Devils press release of new ownership group can be read below the video below...
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
The sale of Devils to a group headed by Philadelphia 76ers owner Joshua Harris remains on target to be completed on Thursday with the official announcement also likely to come that day – if there are no unexpected stumbling blocks in the next 24 hours.
The NHL’s Board of Governors is expected to complete its vote to approve the sale by Thursday, a source said..
Harris’ group would take over a controlling share of the ownership of the team and the operating rights of Prudential Center in Newark from current owner Jeff Vanderbeek, who will maintain a minority share.
An individual familiar with the process said the sale price is “well in excess of $300 million.” That will cover the approximately $200 million in debts the Devils and Devils’ Arena Entertainment have accumulated and still leave Vanderbeek with a significant surplus.
Forbes Magazine estimated the Devils’ value at $205 million in December of 2012.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
A rapidly moving process that would result in the Devils being sold to a group headed by Philadelphia 76ers owner Joshua Harris could be completed in the next two days, two sources said tonight.
The sale has progressed quickly in the last week with Harris and his partners and, though the deal was not “done” yet, no hang-ups were expected to derail their efforts to finally bring an end to the Devils’ ownership saga with an official announcement. Another source said the only thing holding up the completion of the sale is the approval of the NHL’s Board of Governors, which is expected to complete its vote by Thursday.
from Stu Hackel of Sports Illustrated,
There's no denying that the New Jersey Devils have been a very successful organization for most of the past two decades, with president Lou Lamoriello building three Stanley Cup championship teams and two other finalists. Few other NHL clubs have played that well during that time, but the Devils are now at a crossroads, drowning in red ink and attracting the interest of what could be a very significant ownership group.
if the reports are accurate and the buyers are the owners of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, the Devils will have abundant resources at their disposal and lots of brainpower for using them. They're going to need all of it to solve the problems that have long plagued the franchise.
As well as the Devils have done on the ice, they've remained a low-profile operation in the shadow of the nearby New York Rangers, a far less accomplished club since the Devils' first Cup, in 1995. Unlike its cross-river rivals and many other consistently good NHL teams, New Jersey has not been able to sustain a fan base that can fill its arena night after night, year after year, regardless of how well the team plays. Other than when playing heated rivals like the Rangers or Flyers (and enemy fans buy up the unsold seats), the Devils have only sporadically been a "hot ticket," despite the hugely loyal fans they have. Some of that is because, even when they've won, the Devils have done so mostly by playing exceptional defense, not the kind of hockey that regularly brings fans to their feet or packs the building.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
The owners of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers appear to have emerged as the winners in the bidding process to buy the New Jersey Devils.
Howard Eskin of WIP radio in Philadelphia reported today that the group headed by investment banker Joshua Harris, which also owns the 76ers, has “agreed on the money” to buy the Devils from current owner Jeff Vanderbeek and that it was a “done deal.” A source familiar with the ownership process told The Record, however, that “the purchase price has never been an issue” with any of the interested buyers and has been “established for weeks.”
The source added that there are “lots of moving pieces”, but the process could be moving quickly toward its conclusion.
A second source also said was the sale was not “done” yet, but is headed in that direction with Harris’ group winning a bidding battle over a group headed by Philadelphia-area attorney Andrew Barroway.
from Tal Pinchevsky of NHL.com,
Two of the NHL's most intense rivalries will open a new chapter in 2014 by taking the battle outside.
Executives and players from all three teams were on hand Thursday as the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders -- along with the National Hockey League and NHL Players' Association -- officially announced the details of two January games that will take place in Yankee Stadium as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.
The twin bill in the Bronx will feature a Sunday afternoon game on Jan. 26, pitting the Devils against the Rangers (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC), followed by a Jan. 29 night game between the Islanders and Rangers (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN).
It's the start of an incredible week of sports in the metropolitan area, which will also be hosting the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb. 2.
"It's no secret that people have urged us to play at Yankee Stadium since the moment it became clear that our outdoor games were such special, unique and fun events," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said at Thursday's press conference. "The creation of the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series allowed us to work within the Yankees' scheduling parameters and, just as important, include all three NHL teams from this area at this spectacular place.
"The rivalries between the Rangers, Islanders and Devils are among the most heated in sports. These games in this venue will showcase our players and our sport to a national viewing audience as well as to a variety of visitors who we anticipate will be in the area at that time. I hear a rumor that there is a football game in New Jersey sometime later that week."
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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