The New Jersey Devils attract another possible buyer, NHL Commissioner Bettman downplays the out-clause for the Coyotes new ownership, updates on Alex Pietrangelo and Chad Larose, and more.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The Philadelphia 76ers ownership group, led by investment banker Josh Harris, are reportedly in the bidding to purchase the New Jersey Devils. Another group, headed by attorney Andrew Barroway, is also heavily involved in the process to purchase the club from current owner Jeff Vanderbeek. “Multiple sources indicated that no deal with either group was imminent and the timetable for the completion of the sale remained open-ended. Regardless of which group ends up purchasing the team, the Devils would remain in New Jersey and continue to play at Prudential Center in Newark.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears there will be new ownership for the Devils in the near future. It now appears a question of which group comes out on top. The Barroway group is already deeply involved, but the 76ers’ group could have an easier time raising capital.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman downplays arena lease "out clause" of Coyotes new ownership group.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman downplays arena lease “out clause” of Coyotes new ownership group.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman attempted to downplay the out-clause in new Phoenix Coyotes ownership IceArizona’s $225 million arena-management agreement with the City of Glendale. “I don’t understand all the attention that it’s getting,” Bettman said in a recent interview. “The fact of the matter is that every contract has a term. This term, for it to be invoked, requires the ownership group to lose $50 million, which I assure you they have no intention of doing.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, nothing to see hear, folks, move along, ignore that Sword of Damocles hanging over this franchise.

I understand why Bettman’s trying to downplay that clause. After four years of drama and uncertainty over the Coyotes future in Arizona, he, the league Board of Governors, and everyone involved with the Coyotes want to put those years behind them and move on, with the club’s future seemingly secure.

 Like it or not, however, that out-clause (in which IceArizona can bail if losses reach or exceed $50 million over the next five years) is a troubling cloud on the Coyotes horizon.  Hopefully, IceArizona won’t use it, because if they do, I don’t see the league fighting again to keep the franchise in Glendale.

BND.COM: Norm Sanders recently reports St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong has no deadline for getting defenseman Alex Pietrangelo re-signed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Armstrong would prefer getting Pietrangelo under contract before training camp opens next month, but he’s also aware the blueliner has no leverage other than staging a holdout. He won’t say anything publicly which could jeopardize negotiations.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Former Carolina Hurricanes forward Chad LaRose broke his silence to explain why he didn’t show up for his exit interview with Hurricanes management at season’s end, saying he needed a “cooling off period”, and subsequently thanked the organization for the opportunity to play for them. An unrestricted free agent, LaRose hopes to continue his NHL playing career.

NHL.COM: Terry Gregson has retired as NHL Senior VP, Director of Officiating. He’ll be replaced by Stephen Walkom, who previously held the position from 2005 to 2009.

NATIONAL POST: Former NHL player and coach Steve Ludzik believes there’s a link to the six concussions he suffered during his playing career and the Parkinson’s disease which afflicts him today. He’s become an advocate of removing hitting from minor hockey.

TSN.CA: In their week-long retrospective of the 25th anniversary of The Gretzky Trade, TSN catches up with Jimmy Carson, the centerpiece of the return the Edmonton Oilers received from the LA Kings in that deal.

ESPN.COM: Paul Grant asks which goalie in his prime would you rather have on your team, Patrick Roy or Martin Brodeur?

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a more worthy debate question than yesterday’s Gretzky vs Crosby one. I’m torn on the issue. Roy was the greatest clutch goalie in modern playoff history (3 Conn Smythes and the NHL record for most playoff victories stand as proof) and won more Stanley Cups (4) than Brodeur (3), but Brodeur holds records for single season and career victories, most career shutouts, most minutes played (single season and career, most 30-win seasons, was the youngest to 300, 400, 500 and 600 career wins, and won more Vezinas (4) than Roy (3). For me, it’s a toss-up.