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Conflicting reports: NHL to take over New Jersey Devils?

Devils chairman Jeff Vanderbeek and the team are a reported $230 million in debt. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Devils chairman Jeff Vanderbeek and the team are a reported $230 million in debt. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New Jersey Devils are $230 million in debt and if the team doesn't find a way to fix its financial woes, it could be taken over by the NHL, Forbes.com reports.

The league quickly denied that story, saying the reports are "inaccurate."

Andrew Barroway was ready to buy the hockey team and operating rights to the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. but withdrew his offer within the past two weeks after getting a closer look at the team’s books. The Devils owe the NHL roughly $25 million and their payroll for the start of 2013-14 season is projected to be around $55 million.

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Team owner Jeff Vanderbeek missed the first payment on a recently restructured bank loan. The Devils' annual debt payment is about $15 million a year and in the past the Devils have already used prepayments of future revenue streams to pay bills. From Forbes:

The New Jersey Devils are likely to be taken over by the National Hockey League around the time the season begins next month when teams begin cutting payroll checks unless a buyer for the team quickly steps up, according to multiple sources.

However, according to Devils beat reporter Tom Gulitti, the league denied that the move was looming:

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