But now, instead of a Stanley Cup win and the proceeds from a great postseason run bailing out the financially struggling franchise, the NHL appears to be poised to take over the club.
If Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek can’t refinance the team’s debt before Aug. 14, the league will take over, the New York Post reports.
Vanderbeek is said to be a near a deal where he could sell a majority stake of the team to a new investor and pay off the $77 million in past due debt owed by the club. But he’s missed other deadlines and has been on thin ice financially for a while now.
The Devils got an extension on their debt needs when the team made a run to the Stanley Cup finals this spring, where they lost to the Los Angeles Kings. The playoff success also helped the bottom line — New Jersey is expected to “go from losing $20 million in the regular season to almost breaking even next year,” the Post reports.
But the NHL’s recent doubt on whether Vanderbeek can get it done changes that scenario. As Devils fans must have been thinking after their Cup run ended: so close.