In June of 2012, the New Jersey Devils were only two wins away from winning the Stanley Cup.
In August of 2013, amid financial turmoil, the Devils were sold to a group headed by Josh Harris, also the principal owner of the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA.
The financial stability of the franchise had been in question for a while, with the team’s former owner Jeff Vanderbeek having to restructure the organization’s debt of roughly $78 million.
Vanderbeek had gained sole ownership of the Devils, according to reports that surfaced in January, prior to the agreement of a collective bargaining agreement between the league’s owners and the NHL Players’ Association.
The struggles continues as recently as June, when a report came out that the Devils were at risk of defaulting on loan.
Naturally, the NHL was quick to say that the team’s future in Newark was not in question.
“Despite recent reports to the contrary, which are inaccurate, we are not concerned about the Devils’ future, or the franchise’s ability to achieve long-term success in Newark,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email to The Record.
But enough about the past. The purchase of the Devils by the Harris group could now give the franchise some financial stability moving forward.
The Devils, with three Stanley Cup championships, will now try to turn their attention to building a winning hockey club again, this time under now ownership.
“Everyone wants to win but not everyone knows how,” Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters during a press conference on Aug. 15, when the sale was made official.
“They’re creative, they’re intuitive and they want to get an edge in every way they can.”