Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Jersey Devils For Sale (Update: Maybe A Piece of Them Is)

Update (4pm ET): 

From NJ.com

The Devils issued a statement today asserting that owner Jeff Vanderbeek does not plan to sell the team.
"As Managing Member of the New Jersey Devils, it is not my desire to sell the team," primary owner and chairman Jeff Vanderbeek said in the release. "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 efforts, I anticipate maintaining a controlling interest. “
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Update (3pm ET): Craig Custance of The Sporting News says "Have been told now by multiple sources that the Devils ownership sale story isn't accurate."

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Some interesting developments being reported by Kukla's Korner about the Devils being put up for sale.

According to Bloomberg, Jeff Vanderbeek, Devils owner, "has hired investment bank Moag & Co. in Baltimore to oversee the sale of the National Hockey League club."

Vanderbeek's desire to have Kovalchuk in New Jersey to boost the value of the club for his attempt to sell, sure looks like it backfired....big time.

Honestly, I'm very surprised that Vanderbeek and his group are going public with their desire to sell now. The Devils are in the middle of their worst season in over a decade, currently third from last in the entire league. Not to mention, they have a player on board (Kovalchuk) for the next fourteen years who is supposed to be the franchise player of the future and so far hasn't been impressive. I guess it's possible that management doesn't see the team getting better, but you'd have to think that the Devils will improve (even slightly) by this time next year. You also have to assume that Kovalchuk will get better.

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