New Jersey Devils: Hefty Loans Could Prevent Zach Parise's Re-Signing

Tom Urtz Jr.@@TomUrtzJrContributor IJune 12, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 08:  Art Ryan (L) Chairman/CEO Prudential Financial, Jeff Vanderbeek President/Chairman Devils Arena Entertainment (2nd L), U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (2nd R)) and Mayor of Newark Cory A. Booker  pose for photos prior to the news conference between Prudential Financial and Devils Arena Entertainment naming the Prudential Center as the new home of the New Jersey Devils on January 8, 2007 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images for the NHL)
Andy Marlin/Getty Images

The New Jersey Devils' monetary problems are well documented and will be a big talking point over the next few weeks as the team attempts to re-sign star forward and captain Zach Parise, along with Martin Brodeur and other roster players.

The Devils owe over an estimated $300 million in total debt and loans that include a loan of $77 million that is due this summer. The Devils made headlines when they missed a loan payment in September and were deemed to be on the verge of bankruptcy.

The Devils made an estimated $32.3 million during their lengthy playoff run. The Puck Daddy Blog over at Yahoo! Sports had this breakdown of finances in conjunction with a report filed by the Star-Ledger:

A Star-Ledger analysis culled from 2011 audit figures combined with recent projections from published reports show the cash-strapped hockey team has taken in close to $32.3 million during their extended 2012 playoff run.

The biggest chunk of playoff money came from $26.2 million in postseason ticket sales, according to the newspaper's review. Concessions brought in another big piece, with the Devils selling $3.75 million worth of hot dogs, soda and beer during playoffs. Sponsors kicked in $1.1 million to the Devils' bottom line during playoffs. Devils merchandise also gave the team an influx of about $1 million worth of jerseys, T-shirts, and hats.

This is good news for the Devils, because they are in dire need of funds to keep the franchise afloat. The team has their $77-million loan due to creditors this summer, and that will certainly have an impact on the team's ability to re-sign Zach Parise. The acquired funds are a positive, but they will only make a dent in the mountain of debt.

In another report by Puck Daddy, it was stated that the Devils in total owe over $300 million in debt.

There's the $80 million they owe to banks, and as of last November "over $250 million of debt piled on the team and arena," according to Forbes. There's the schism between owners Jeff Vanderbeek and his minority owners. There's the looming specter of bankruptcy to help wipe away the debt.

With all this information coming to light—including a report that hints that the Devils' rumored new investor may fall through—it appears that there is little to no possibility that Zach Parise will be back in New Jersey next season.

Lou Lamoriello insisted back in February that the team's finances wouldn't prevent management from re-signing Parise, but at this point it looks like the best thing the Devils could do is attempt to trade Parise's rights to one of the teams that are rumored to have a strong interest in him.

After the 2012-13 season, the Devils will have tons of players to replace or re-sign, so it should be interesting to see how the money woes for the Devils play out.