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NHL not worried about Devils’ future in Newark

Jun 19, 2013, 12:36 PM EDT

NEWARK, NJ - MAY 30: A general view of the arena prior to Game One of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on May 30, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Getty Images

Fear not, New Jersey Devils fans who may have been spooked by recent reports about the team’s financial troubles. According to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, the Devils aren’t going anywhere.

“Despite recent reports to the contrary, which are inaccurate, we are not concerned about the Devils’ future, or the franchise’s ability to achieve long-term success in Newark,” Daly wrote in an email to The Record.

The Devils, as a franchise, may not be going anywhere, but it’s still not clear what the future holds for pending unrestricted free agents Patrik Elias, David Clarkson, Marek Zidlicky, Dainius Zubrus, and Peter Harrold.

Late last month, general manager Lou Lamoriello said he’d like to get new deals for those five done prior to July 5, at which point they’d be free to explore other offers.

“In my opinion, they have to be done before that,” Lamoriello said.

  1. channelguy - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    I don’t get the commentators who conclude that because the OWNER is in apparent financial trouble, the franchise is in trouble and may be moved. That may be the case if he has to sell the team, and no local ownership with money wants it. But theres no evidence thats the case at all. The NHL seems to attract owners who are undercapitalized (and some in the past who have been con men and criminals) but unlike say, Atlanta or Phoenix, theres no track record of failing for years to get more stable ownership.

    New Jersey has good attendance, with real fans in the seats, not the ha-ha doctored numbers a few franchises put out. Like many people I think NY would be healthier with two teams, not three, especially given that the Rangers are more popular than the other two combined. But when you have basket case franchises in the league, pointing at the Devils as a team that should move makes no sense at all.

  2. liamj55 - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Devils to Quebec City. Coyotes to Seattle. BOOM. Realignment salvaged as well

    • rogersjd16 - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      Yea, no. Move the Panthers to Quebec, Yotes to Seattle.

  3. tmoore4075 - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    While I don’t think they are in danger of moving the NHL has lost its credibility on saying these things. Phoenix was fine at the all star game in 09, a few months later they filed for bankruptcy. The Thrashers weren’t going anywhere and were finding a local owner…they moved a few months later.

  4. devilsarethebest - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    No reason why a team with solid sellouts, great fans and consistent playoff success should move anywhere. There’s no reason they won’t be able to re-sign the free agnts THEY WANT. They’ve already made it oretty clear they will not re-sign Zid to make room for some younger defensive prospects to come in and to give Larsson a spot on the first PP unit. Clarkson and Elias love it in NJ the former being best friends with Marty and the latter being a core player from the Cup years who rejected much bigger offers(1.5-2 million more a season) to stay here. Last year we offered ZP more the Minny but he keft because he wanted to go home, unlike the common misconception that we couldn’t afford him. All these money talks are BS, just reporters having noting to talk about.

  5. mafiakelli - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    I’ve been to several games in Newark (several meaning at least 10 a year) & the visiting teams almost always have as many fans as the Devils have. Most of the fans in the area are Rangers fans…..time for this team to move.

    • 950003cups - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      Actually, sir, you are wrong. The only games that have a divided fanbase is when they play the Flyers and Rangers. With that being said, if you ever attended a game at MSG, you’ll notice they get taken over by Saber fans and Pittsburgh fans a lot of times. It’s normal for that to happen. MSG season ticket holders in the lower bowls are 80% corporations who give the tickets to clients or executives. Many of which who were not born in NYC or Brooklyn.

      Yes, its true.

      Plus the success of ALL MSG teams have been extremely sub-par (to put it nicely)

      As a Knicks fan, I can attest to that pain personally.
      As a Devils fan, i can attest to that pain with the utmost joy.

    • MannySilvers - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      This is such an old an over-exaggerated point. Are there a decent amount of Rangers fans at a Devils / Rangers game in Newark? Sure, because the Rangers have a much larger fan base and tickets at MSG are ridiculously expensive. Are there more Rangers fans than Devils fans there? Not even close. As someone who was at game 4 and 6 of the ECF finals last year, it was at least 90% Devils fans.

      The fact of the matter is, when you place a new team in a location extremely close to 2 huge, deep rooted fan bases (Rangers and Flyers, 3 if you count Isles), it takes time for that fan base to grow. People who were kids/teens when the Devils were dominant in the late 90’s/early 2000’s are starting to get old enough where they can purchase season ticket plans, etc.

      The Devils had one of their best years attendance wise this past season despite it being an extremely disappointing season on the ice. Their fan base is only growing. They are going no where.

      • villi5ed - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:23 PM

        “As someone who was at game 4 and 6 of the ECF finals last year, it was at least 90% Devils fans.”

        Simply not true. Agreed that there were clearly more Dev fans than NYR fans on site. But 90%-10%? No

      • lateralous - Jun 19, 2013 at 7:04 PM

        Also at game 6, easily 90% Devils fans. I was surprised how few Rangers fan were there.

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