Devils notes — owner reaches deal to keep team, players getting healthy

New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek has finalized a deal that will allow him to keep the team for at least two more years, a source tells the New York Post.

The deal, hammered out in the last few days, was able to be reached only after the NHL agreed to convert its multi-million dollar advance on licensing income into a secured loan and to put off repayment for 24 months, or longer, the source added.

Vanderbeek is now paying lenders other than the NHL roughly $40 million to retire some of its overdue loans and is combining the team and arena debt into one new $160 million package, sources said.

The deal hasn’t officially closed yet, but the Post says that should happen next week.

In other Devils news, general manager Lou Lamoriello told the Bergen Record yesterday that forwards Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias and defenseman Mark Fayne should be healthy enough to attend training camp (whenever that may start).

Specifically, Lamoriello said Kovalchuk (lower-back injury) is “fine” and skating/working out in Russia, Elias (groin surgery) is “100 percent,” and Fayne (wrist surgery) is “coming along great.”

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