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New Jersey Devils Receive Advance Money from NHL

January 29th, 2012 at 11:19 AM
By Philip Coffey

The New Jersey Devils are receiving advances on some future income from the NHL to see the team through its current ownership difficulties.

The New York Post's Mark Everson reports the league has provided the Devils with money from TV revenue as a means of keeping the team afloat.

“Just league distributions. Yeah. It’s not atypical. It’s not something we haven’t done before on perhaps many occasions,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told Everson. “Obviously there’s something that has to resolve itself there on the ownership front, but I wouldn’t be concerned about the finances of the club.”

Daly said the advances are not outright grants of loans, but money the team would have received at some point in the future.

Newark philanthropist Raymond Chambers, a 47 percent owner of the team, wants out, and Jeff Vanderbeek wants to remain in charge of the franchise, so there is maneuvering to try to buy out Chambers while retaining Vanderbeek. Thus far, Vanderbeek has been unable to come up with a financial plan that solves the dilemma.

Complicating factors is the franchise reportedly has an upcoming $80 million debt obligation that needs to be paid. Payment already has been extended once and not paying the debt could cause a bankruptcy decision sometime after the season.

Devils co-owner Ray Chambers is trying to get out of his 47-percent stake in the team with the team facing an $80 million debt obligation that already has been extended. The debt holders could force the team into bankruptcy after this season.

When asked whether Wendy's restaurants owner Nelson Peltz is a possible solution for the Devils, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told Everson he didn't see him as a white knight in the scenario.

“I don’t think Peltz is in it or was in it,” Bettman said. “I know Nelson very well, and as far as I know, he’s not pursuing the club.

“It’s no secret that the two current principal owners haven’t seen eye-to-eye for a period of time. That had some difficult consequences in terms of the operation of the club, and we’re helping to sort all of that out,” Bettman said. “I think it’s fair to say the club is stable, but ownership isn’t getting along. And I think all of you know when ownership isn’t exactly in a good place good things don’t always happen. We’re going to work our way through that. We’re going to give whatever assistance we can to help that happen.”

Daly told the Post the NHL is not actively seeking an “angel” for the Devils.

“We haven’t progressed to that stage,” Daly said. “At some point we may have to. But at this point, Chambers and Jeff are each working on their own solutions and hopefully one or the other will be successful.”


Tags: Hockey, New Jersey, New Jersey Devils, NHL, ownership, possible solution

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