The New York Post reported Monday that the National Hockey League has plans to take the New Jersey Devils from owner Jeff Vanderbeek.
If Vanderbeek fails to refinance the Devils’ debt before an Aug. 14 deadline, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman plans to seize control of the financially unstable franchise, the Post reports.
The Post also reported Vanderbeek will be selling a “majority stake” in his club soon, which might permit him to refinance $77 million in debt and retain control of the Devils.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly denied the accusation Tuesday, saying, “I don’t anticipate either the league having to take over the team, or the team having to file for bankruptcy,” USA Today reports.
The NHL currently owns the Phoenix Coyotes, but former San Jose Sharks executive Greg Jamison is in the process of purchasing the Coyotes from the league.
“The resolution of Phoenix one way or the other will have no effect on the New Jersey situation,” Daly said.
A representative of the Devils told USA Today the team had no comment.
The Post’s report was published a week after the Devils’ most successful playoff streak since becoming Stanley Cup champions in 2003. This year the team made it to the playoff finals, losing in game six to the LA Kings.