Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/18/12 at 06:23 PM ET
Early this morning, the New York Post’s Josh Koshan claimed that the NHL will be taking over the New Jersey Devils in order to ensure that the Devils will make the $77 million payment the team has to pay to help defray the $200 million in arena debt the franchise is saddled with. Not surprisingly, USA Today’s Kevin Allen received a, “No way, we’re not doing that at all” denial from NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly…
“I don’t anticipate either the league having to take over the team, or the team having to file for bankruptcy,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told USA TODAY Sports in an email.
The Devils said they had no comment.
The NHL already has owned the Phoenix Coyotes for almost three years, although former San Jose Sharks executive Greg Jamison is in the process of buying the team from the league. The Goldwater Institute, a government watchdog group, is still attempting to thwart that sale because there is taxpayer money being used to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz.
“The resolution of Phoenix one way or the other will have no effect of the New Jersey situation,” Daly said.
But Daly did admit that the NHL is, let’s say looking over the Devils’ shoulder while Jeff Vanderbeek attempts to find new investors to help him deal with the team’s massive debts:
Daly offered no details about the Devils’ plans, but added: “We are working closely with the team’s current ownership and progress continues to be made toward a financial restructuring that will ensure the stability of the franchise going forward.”
The timing of the Devils’ financial issues couldn’t be much worse for the team because general manager Lou Lamoriello is in the process of trying to persuade captain Zach Parise to re-sign. He is one of nine Devils who will be unrestricted free agents on July 1.
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