NHL reportedly plans to take over Devils, ten teams to watch this off-season, assessing the depth of the 2012 NHL entry draft, Samuel Pahlsson heads to Europe, and Jimmy Howard’s stint as a grand marshal at a stock car race.

 

NHL to take over Devils this summer?

NEW YORK POST: reports the NHL is prepared to take control of the New Jersey Devils if owner Jeff Vanderbeek fails to meet an August 14th deadline to refinance the team’s debt. Commissioner Gary Bettman has previously expressed confidence Vanderbeek would resolve his current financial situation, but a source claims the NHL commissioner’s office has apparently told interested buyers to be prepared in case Bettman has to take over the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  We can probably expect the usual denials from the Devils ownership and league headquarters, or at the very least, declining to speak about the subject. The Devils, however, have been reportedly close to bankruptcy since last fall, and earlier this year the league apparently provided Vanderbeek a loan to help with his debt payments. If the league does take over the Devils, they’ll be the third team to fall under its stewardship in recent years, as the Phoenix Coyotes have been owned by the league since 2009, while the Dallas Stars are believed to have been run by the league for a couple of years until they were recently sold to new ownership. 

CBC.CA: lists ten teams – Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Nashville Predators, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings, Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs – to keep an eye on for potential off-season roster changes.

OTTAWA SUN: The 2012 NHL Entry Draft could be the weakest draft in years.

AFTONBLADET: Center Samuel Pahlsson, who split this season between Columbus and Vancouver, is expected to join MODO of the Swedish Elite League.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could spell the end of the 34-year-old Pahlsson’s 12 year NHL career,most of which was spent with the Anaheim Ducks, with whom he won a Stanley Cup in 2007.

DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, a life-long racing fan, was grand marshal at Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at the Michigan International Speedway.