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Devils owner Blitzer: "We're not going to make money this year"


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Report: Devils to lose money in 2014-15

Dhiren Mahiban

Aug 16, 2014, 1:05 PM EDT

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.

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I call bs. They're in metro NY now, not the swamp. And their building is full every night. Somebody I think's making money. Probably the owner.

They were over $230million in debt when Blitzer bought the team. Paying that back is going to really mess up the profit margin.

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Poor on-ice product, horrible prospects pool. They'll be losing fans for a long time

They got more points than us this year, have been to the SCF since we have, and have blue-chip prospects like Reid Boucher, Jon Merril, Damon Severson, and Steven Santini. Plus they have the be-all-end-all of goalies (according to some Canuck fans).

While I may not be envious of what they have, we ain't doing much better in that regard.

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I call bs. They're in metro NY now, not the swamp. And their building is full every night. Somebody I think's making money. Probably the owner.

Have you ever been to Newark? Apparently from what I've heard once the game is over the area where Prudential Center is, it's like a ghost town afterwards.

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Poor on-ice product, horrible prospects pool. They'll be losing fans for a long time

Losing attendance perhaps but the Devils have an established fan base. This team is nothing like the Coyotes and Panthers, their dominance in the trap era has earned them a lot of fans. The team is really lacking in direction though, they have an aging core and nothing in terms of young exciting talent and losing stars like Parise and Kovalchuk really hurt them. The fans have also been spoiled with good teams and Cups, they aren't going to want to come watch a mediocre team. Its similar to the Avs decline in attendance. Until the team decides to get their shit together the fans aren't going to be showing up.

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I call bs. They're in metro NY now, not the swamp. And their building is full every night. Somebody I think's making money. Probably the owner.

Servicing the debt is gonna be a big struggle. Plus those seats sell when they give out those ridiculous deals just to fill the seats. 4 tickets and 4 drinks and parking for $99 anyone?

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They got more points than us this year, have been to the SCF since we have, and have blue-chip prospects like Reid Boucher, Jon Merril, Damon Severson, and Steven Santini. Plus they have the be-all-end-all of goalies (according to some Canuck fans).

While I may not be envious of what they have, we ain't doing much better in that regard.

if you think any of those except boucher is a blue chip prospect, you better check yourself mate.

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Didn't think it was that bad over in Jersey, especially considering that their glory days aren't even that far behind them.

Chicago went through a similar phase awhile ago but I don't think they had the same debt crunch that the Devils are currently facing. Too bad Kovalchuk couldn't make a triumphant return (somehow, some way) on a decent contract for them...that'd help a fair amount with getting their attendance problems sorted out.

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if you think any of those except boucher is a blue chip prospect, you better check yourself mate.

I wouldn't really call any of those guys blue chippers. Merill is the best prospect they have IMO.

The Canucks have a much better prospect pool.

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I call bs. They're in metro NY now, not the swamp. And their building is full every night. Somebody I think's making money. Probably the owner.

Ummm, no. Their attendance is terrible.

24th in the league in attendance last season. On average they only filled their arena to 88.7% capacity. They need to figure out how to up their attendance by another 10% during the lean years.

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Have you ever been to Newark? Apparently from what I've heard once the game is over the area where Prudential Center is, it's like a ghost town afterwards.

I lived in Edgewater, NJ on the Hudson River. Downtown Newark isn't what anyone would call a destination spot. There's a reason why the New Jersey Nets left Newark for Brooklyn.

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if you think any of those except boucher is a blue chip prospect, you better check yourself mate.

Merrill has already established he can play a solid role in the NHL at 22, and will be a top 4 D within in the next 2 seasons.

And while Severson and Santini may not be flashy names, but both will also likely be top 4 D in the NHL.

All 3 are better than any D prospect we have.

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Merrill has already established he can play a solid role in the NHL at 22, and will be a top 4 D within in the next 2 seasons.

And while Severson and Santini may not be flashy names, but both will also likely be top 4 D in the NHL.

All 3 are better than any D prospect we have.

Well if you can project those two to be guaranteed top 4, then I can easily say that Corrado, Hutton, and Tryamkin will be top 4. It means nothing at this point.

Even if they do have a better D group, our forward and goalie depth trumps there's in every way.

To say that their pool is close to ours is just wrong.

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