The news about the potential sale of the New Jersey Devils that hit earlier this afternoon managed to put a scare into Devils fans and around the league as well. After all, the Devils made a huge splash in the off-season by signing Ilya Kovalchuk to a massive deal and now the team is mired as one of the worst in the NHL.
As it turns out, the details of the team being sold were just partially true. Majority owner Jeff Vanderbeek is not looking to sell his part of the team, but it appears that the partners are looking to get out. Vanderbeek issued a statement today clearing up matters on his part.
“As Managing Member of the New Jersey Devils, it is not my desire to sell the team. My partner, Brick City, and I have different visions for the franchise. While Brick City has a right, under our partnership agreement, to explore a sale and Moag and Co. has been retained to assist in these effort, I anticipate maintaining a controlling interest.”
Brick City is co-owned by Mike Gilfillan and as Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice notes, Gilfillan and Vanderbeek have had a bit of a tenuous relationship over the last couple years as owners. With Brick City being the party looking to get out, it makes a huge difference compared to how the story appeared to be earlier today.
A change coming for the minority owners won’t necessarily effect the day-to-day operations of the team nor should it play a role in whether or not the Devils can get a long-term deal worked out with future restricted free agent Zach Parise.
In short, nothing really to see here folks. Move along.