New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek has less than a week to come up with the $20 million he owes creditors or he risks losing control of the team, according to a bombshell report in today’s New York Post.

The situation is serious enough that Vanderbeek is already trying to cut a deal with lenders and the NHL that would allow him to remain in charge of the club if he can’t come up with the money, per the report. Still, “Vanderbeek might still have an ace up his sleeve,” says the paper’s Josh Kosman, because the banks may be torn on how aggressively to pursue repayment.

“Leaning on Vanderbeek too hard and forcing the Devils into Chapter 11  bankruptcy could result in lenders having to fund the money-losing team next season.” And with the sale of the league-owned Phoenix Coyotes still unresolved, you can be sure the NHL will also do all it can to prevent that from happening.

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