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Report: Devils to lose money in 2014-15

Aug 16, 2014, 1:05 PM EDT

New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

Despite having new owners in Josh Harris and David Blitzer, the New Jersey Devils are scheduled to once again lose money in 2014-15.

According to the report from Tom Gulitti of The Record, Harris and Blitzer — who purchased the team from Jeff Vanderbeek a year ago for $320 million — are still fixing previous financial issues.

The Devils missed the playoffs for a second straight season in 2013-14 and according to Blitzer the team will not turn a profit in 2014-15 even if New Jersey qualifies for the postseason.

“We’re not going to make money this year. Let’s be clear,” said Blitzer. “I don’t know the exact numbers, but our view is to get it to the right place and we know over a longer period of time we do believe we can get it to be a profitable team on the business side or the equation. It is not today. I don’t expect it to be next year, but over time you can’t have a business that over 30 years it doesn’t become a profitable team because that just doesn’t work.”

According to the report, the team had debt issues and was “under invested in” on the business side.

Devils CEO Scott O’Neil points out the team was severely understaffed on the business side with just 76 employees when the new group took over. Since then, the staff has nearly doubled.

The team’s debt isn’t expected to factor into the Devils and GM Lou Lamoriello’s ability to spend money. As it stands, New Jersey sits with less than $5 million to play with.

Lamoriello compared the situation under previous ownership to that of the Phoenix Coyotes saying that he had to report to the league as a result of the team’s financial struggles.

“It was like Phoenix from a hockey standpoint. That was fact,” said Lamoriello. “You had to do things in a different way.”

Lamoriello pointed to the signing of unrestricted free agent Mike Cammalleri and contract extensions to Cory Schneider and Andy Greene as ways things have changed under the new group.

The GM said things are “status quo”  with unrestricted free agent Ryan Carter. According to Gulitti, Carter seems to be waiting for the Devils to move a forward before re-signing him.

When asked about restricted free agent Eric Gelinas, Lamoriello said, “We have a month to go. We want to get him signed.”

New Jersey finished the 2013-14 season with a 35-29-18 record and in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.

Related: Devils GM shakes off 0-13 shootout record, pumps up free agent moves

  1. El Pollo Loco - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    Quebec here they come

  2. bullwinkle88 - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Let’s face it…New Jersey is not a hockey market. They could have held their Stanley Cup parades in the parking lot for the number of fans they attracted.

    The guy above is right…it’s time to move this team. Believe me, no one in the NJ/NY area would miss it.

    • mb30forlife - Aug 17, 2014 at 7:22 AM

      The NJ Devils have more fans than you think…. Also… It is the only team that NJ actually cares about

      • libeccim - Aug 17, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        That is so false. You’re saying that people in New Jersey don’t support any of the New York or Philly teams?

      • 950003cups - Aug 17, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        To be real, there are more hockey fans in Northern NJ than in NYC. Southern NJ is, and always will be (as we call it) “Eagle Country”. North NJ makes up a huge number of the ranger fanbase. It’s just that for years and years that NJ fans always migrated towards the NY teams because that’s all there were for a while. Jets and Giants are MOSTLY NJ fans. Yankees and Knicks are the only teams supported by predominately NY residents. So NJ has the fans. Being that hockey is still the lesser of the 4 sports, there are plenty of fans who can begin to get in to hockey. It’s pretty much an untapped fanbase.

  3. vancouversportsbro - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    For a team with the amount of cups New Jersey has won it is embarrassing how many fans they attract. Completely no disrespect, this is coming from someone who enjoyed the team more than most when they were up there with Colorado/Detroit/Dallas.

  4. 950003cups - Aug 16, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    These are realistic owners. They’re not selling the team. They’re not moving the team. They’re just saying that losing money is part of the price of building a team that, in their words, was “dramatically underinvested. They literally did not have positions filled that were entirely necessary to run a business like this. We kind of found that a little bit shocking in terms of how depleted it was at the time we went in.” Sounds like they’re committed to building it up. But in 15 years if things are worse, than we’ll see. The team had the same issues that the Islanders did. They had huge success when the franchise was still very young. If they have another team like they had from 1994-2004 than they’re gonna have a lot of success. Easier said than done. So let’s hope Schneider is who they hope he is.

    • mpg44 - Aug 17, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      People should really learn to read an article prior to commenting on it. More teams then most people actually think lose money. These new owners are extremely realistic . The owners themselves states that this team is grossly understaffed on the business side of it and has been for far too long. This has already begun to change as the staff number has doubled in the past year. This means advertising , marketing , and exposure is all about to change dramatically…. In New Jersey!

  5. bleedrangerblue - Aug 16, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Yep they lose money , they lose shootouts, they lose star players. Now if we could only lose cups… Just kiddin bud

  6. billiam55 - Aug 16, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    lolol

  7. Wineshard - Aug 16, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    This franchise has won multiple Cups, so my respect goes out to the hockey people there. But, from a business side if things, Wayne Gretzky was right – a Mickey Mouse organization.

  8. flyboystransport - Aug 16, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    Location. Both places they’ve played at were either difficult to get to or dangerous to get to. With as many poser fans as they have outside of their area they would draw better. 5 years of losses they can terminate their lease

  9. greatmiamisportsmind - Aug 16, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Maybe we can move them to Orlando…

  10. jhmiddleton81 - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    As a New Jersey resident, I am a Leafs fan, but the grass roots minor hockey that has been built by this organization is nothing short of miraculous . The Youth team I played for has won a national championship and played in 3 national championship games since 2005. They are so involved with New Jersey High School Hockey and Youth hockey it would be so sad to see them go, an excellent organization with a terrific building, it is such a tough market to succeed in though. I really do believe that these new owners will really help them change for the good

  11. icelovinbrotha215 - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    Just weird to see the owner of the Jersey Devils also be the owner of the Philadelphia 76ers ha. That being said, this area is somewhat over-saturated. Within a 2-hour ride in any direction, you have 4 teams.

  12. spitfisher - Aug 17, 2014 at 7:46 AM

    They won some cups, but that trap and grab was pretty boring hockey to watch. The secret now is when you have a winning team the pink hats come out and spend money on tickets, beer and souvenirs. The trouble is NJ has mismanaged contracts and a rebuild is necessary, which means a losing record for some time.

    Hopefully they won’t move, instead bite the bullet and develop a new team, attitude and winning product.

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