There's been some talk about the murky state of the Devils finances and debt. Every couple of months, some report comes out that sends a message that the end of the Jeff Vanderbeek era as Devils owner has begun; that the Devils are bumming out on debt payments; that the whole Newark arena idea was a bust. This sends an array of speculation through fans that the team will move away or soon to be superstar free agent Zach Parise will go to more clear waters.
As the great George Carlin would say - "Calm down....have some dip." Seriously.
Around the start of training camp, a report from the NY Post suggested that the Devils missed out on a huge debt payment and were on the verge of bankruptcy. John did a great breakdown on the article and the Devils response (yes, the Devils responded). I suggest reading it if you haven't and or brushing up on it if you don't remember it. The Post article was written by Josh Kosman and there were many, many inaccuracies (including getting the first day training camp wrong). Around the same time - I did a timeline of the Devils financial situation since the mid-90s. It's never been easy with the Devils from a business standpoint - but nothing happened then (i.e. no move to Nashville).
There have been two big reports since September - both from anonymous reports, both from the NY Post, both written by Josh Kosman. What are they?
One was that Wendy's owner and billionaire Nelson Peltz was looking to buy the team (or a portion of the team). What was also interesting was the $100 million the Devils owed in debt in September turned into $250 million in November (that's a bad APR!).The big thing in this article was the securitization of the MSG TV deal to pay debt. This pretty much means any or all profit from the TV deal will be invested to pay the debt now instead of gradually paying it over time.
There have been multiple reports that Brick City LLC (Mike Gilfillan and Ray Chambers) were looking to sell there 47% stake in the Devils. There were reports Vanderbeek was going to purchase that portion (a report written by you guessed it Kosman).
The other report, in which Devilman3030 made a FanShot for was yet again about debt payments. The big thing here was also about that securitization deal. The deal was scheduled to be finalized around now (mid to late January). But that new anonymous source suggested the deal won't be done in the month that they have. That the NHL will step it's foot in if it doesn't (even though the NHL said it isn't an ultimatum). Soo? Okay? This article stated nothing new - that saying a deal (that has over a month until the NHL gets involved - but not with authority) may not get done.
Where the Devils are at now is still the season where ticket sales and season ticket sales are up. Where attendance is averaging over 1,000 more people this season than last season. Where they are making money through their social media outlets and Mission Control through marketing and ticket promotions. Even seeing fans doing their part in suggesting and linking ticket deals to fill the arena.
I will conclude this by how I am taking all this news as well as a few questions that are still in the air from actual reports.
A big missing link in all these stories is the state of Brick City selling their stake in the team. Maybe they can't find one? Maybe they can't reach a deal with Peltz? Who knows - and we won't until a deal is reached and a new owner is announced. I feel once this part of the financial situation is concluded, Vanderbeek and co. can and will continue to do whats best for the Devils. That includes signing Parise.
Fans and/or the public will never know the full story. This is a private business and their documents are sealed. When the Devils release a report announcing (or denying) something they wish to disclose - then we can make and discuss speculation from that report. There's no use in freaking out over "sources close to the situation." You may as well call that an E5.
Thanks for reading. Hope the dip was good.