New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek could possibly be on the verge of losing control of his team if he cannot come up with the remainder of the money he owes to creditors.
The New York Post is claiming the financially embattled owner is still $20 million short on his repayment to lenders. If Vanderbeek cannot pony up the rest of the cash by Aug. 14 than he may be forced to relinquish control of the NHL’s Eastern Conference Champions.
But, according to the Post, Vanderbeek promised the banks an additional $40 million by the deadline. Whether he makes good on the promise remains to be seen.
The Devils financial trouble are well documented and while the situation seems dire, it may not be all doom and gloom. Yes, the news is troubling and I do not want to minimize its long term effects on the Devils, it may not be as bad as it sounds. At one point Vanderbeek was as much as $80 million in the hole. The fact that he found a way to close the gap by $60 million has to be looked at as encouraging, for now.
I have no doubts that Vanderbeek will be able to raise the rest of the money by the deadline. But, should he fall short he may still be able to stay in control of the team. Lenders stand to lose more money by seizing control of the Devils and the NHL already runs the Phoenix Coyotes pending their sale to an ownership group led by Greg Jamison.
This situation is ever evolving and I will continue to update as news breaks.
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