The New Jersey Devils are in some hot financial water, with majority owner Jeff Vanderbeek reportedly missing a Tuesday deadline to repay an $80 million loan. The Tuesday date was actually an extension deadline; the original loan payback was due in September 2011. It appears there will be no more extensions for Vanderbeek to delay repaying the full amount of the loan, but it does seem that Vanderbeek will be given some time to gather whatever amount he can to pay down the debt.
Recent reports have stated that Vanderbeek has managed to reduce the debt significantly, but remains somewhere around $18 million in the hole. He may have a way out, though -- according to The Fourth Period, Calgary billionaire Bill Gallacher is trying to buy most, if not all, of the Devils.
According to the report, Gallacher "seems close to purchasing" the team, though it remains unclear whether he'd be buying part of the franchise or the whole thing. He has a history of trying to buy into the NHL, as he was in on the sweepstakes to own the Dallas Stars a few years back, but lost out to Tom Gagliardi. Vanderbeek might get an extension to refinance the Devils' debt and raise what money he can, but Gallacher might present an easier, more direct exit strategy.