New Jersey Devils Announce New Ownership

Devils hoping for stability off the ice with new ownership


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.”



Panarin impresses ‘Hawks with his preseason debut

Artemi Panarin
AP Photo

Will Artem Panarin‘s overwhelming success in the KHL translate to North America? The 23-year-old forward has a lot to prove, but his first big test was a success.

Playing on a line with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov, Panarin made his preseason debut in Chicago’s finale on Saturday. He registered two assists while giving his teammates reason to be optimistic about him.

“For not being on the ice he looks really relaxed. He’s great with the puck, has nice moves and I think we’ll see a lot of this,” Marian Hossa told CSN Chicago. “He has unbelievable skill. People here in Chicago are going to have a good time watching this guy dangling.”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was impressed by Panarin as well and liked that line as a whole.

The fact that the trio seemed to hit it off quickly has to come as a relief after an upper-body injury prevented Panarin from getting the most out of this year’s training camp. At the end of the day though, the fact that he was able to at least get in one preseason contest is a big silver lining. How smoothly his adjustment goes from here is still a big X-factor, but at least now he’s going into the regular season with a better idea of what to expect.

Panarin is attempting to establish himself in the NHL after leading the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg to a championship last year. He was the team’s scoring leader, topping ex-NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk.

Gustavsson secures one-year contract with Bruins

Jonas Gustavsson
AP Photo
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There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.

The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.

That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.

In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.

Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.