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Bettman denies NHL taking over Devils — sale imminent?

Aug 8, 2013, 12:34 PM EDT

Gary Bettman Getty Images

Today in New York, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman denied a report that the league is preparing to take over the financially troubled New Jersey Devils.

“If the suggestion is we’re going to take over the Devils, it’s not accurate,” said Bettman, per Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger.

Not accurate, perhaps, because a Devils sale could be imminent, according to The Record’s Tom Gulitti.

While it’s tempting to compare the Devils’ ownership situation to that of another problem NHL franchise, the Phoenix Coyotes, it’s not really appropriate to do so.

The big difference between the two situations is that relocation was only an option for the Coyotes. The Devils, by all indications, are staying put in Newark. What’s really needed in New Jersey is a deep-pocketed ownership group that can haul the club out of debt.

CSN Philly has more on the story, with a quote from deputy commissioner Bill Daly — “…to the extent it suggests that league is intending to take over the club, it is inaccurate” — as well as one NHL governor who says there are buyers for the Devils.

Related: 76ers ownership group reportedly interested in buying Devils

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