January 3, 2013
NHL notes: Jeff Vanderbeek makes deal to retain full control of Devils
By QMI Agency
Jeff Vanderbeek is now the sole owner of the New Jersey Devils.
According to the Bergen Record, Vanderbeek refinanced the team's debt and bought out his partners, a process that took 18 months to complete. He scooped up the 47% share held by Brick City Hockey LLC and the 6% owned by Peter Simon to take total control of the Devils, a move that has already been approved by the NHL board of governors.
"Today's announcement is good news for Devils fans, though I fully recognize fans' frustration with the work stoppage," Vanderbeek said in the report. "Our future is now secure and we can be confident of continued on-ice success. Our team has gone to the Stanley Cup final five times in the last 17 years and following the most recent run to the Stanley Cup final last year, we are excited about our future--for Jersey's team and Prudential Center, home to the 2013 NHL Draft."
GUDBRANSON GOOD TO GO
Florida Panthers defenceman Erik Gudbranson, who had shoulder surgery in the off-season, has been given the green light by medical staff to resume contact, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinal.
Gudbranson was hurt over the summer -- he originally said he was hurt while training then 'fessed up that he dislocated the shoulder wake-boarding and was briefly suspended by the team -- and only returned to the ice in late November.
If the NHL lockout ends and the season does get started later this month, Gudbranson should be good to go almost immediately.
RUUTU HAS SURGERY
Carolina Hurrricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu will likely miss the NHL season, if there is one.
According to reports out of Carolina, Ruutu recently had hip surgery in Colorado and would be out of action until at least April. General manager Jim Rutherford said the injury "just flared up" but Ruutu had been complaining about his hip since August.
"He tried a number of things to rehab it but it got to the point the doctors recommended surgery," Rutherford told the News & Observer. "There was really nothing that signaled surgery might be necessary. It just flared up. Like most athletes, hockey players have a lot of wear and tear on their hips."
Ruutu had 18 goals and 16 assists in 72 games with the Hurricanes last season.
Slovakian team HC Banska Bystrica has a few open spots on its roster after four locked-out NHLers pulled up stakes Thursday. Michal Handzus, Clayton Stoner, Dana Tyrell and Tanner Glass all left the team, according to the club's website.