One year after their sale to Josh Harris and David Blitzer, the Devils are still a team in debt and losing money, but the co-owners continue to see a bright future for the organization on and off the ice.

While stressing they are still “early in the game” of a “very long-term” plan to turn around the Devils financially, Blitzer says he can’t envision a scenario in which he and Harris would ever sell the team.

“Having been lucky enough to actually invest in a team, let alone in my home state in a sport that I love, why would you ever sell that? Literally, ever,” Blitzer, who grew up in Scotch Plains, said today. “The team happens to mostly be in a trust for my kids and my grandkids, but I think Josh and I both think pretty clearly that we would never sell.”

On the one-year anniversary of the completion of the purchase of the team and Prudential Center’s operating rights from former owner Jeff Vanderbeek for $320 million, Blitzer, Devils CEO Scott O’Neil and team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello sat down for a wide-ranging interview with The Record. Blitzer was unaware today was exactly one year since his introductory news conference at Prudential Center, saying, “52 weeks go fast.”

Harris and Blitzer took over a team that was mired in a debt and, in Blitzer’s words, “dramatically underinvested in” on the business side. As part of the sale, Blitzer says he and Harris restructured the team’s debt and “paid down the banks” in order gain more stability, “but there’s still debt.”

And still a lot of work to be done. The team lost money again in 2013-14, when it missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season and third time in four seasons, and Blitzer does not expect it to turn a profit in 2014-15 regardless of its on-ice performance.

“We’re not going to make money this year. Let’s be clear,” he said. “I don’t know the exact numbers, but our view is to get it to the right place and we know over a longer period of time we do believe we can get it to be a profitable team on the business side or the equation. It is not today. I don’t expect it to be next year, but over time you can’t have a business that over 30 years it doesn’t become a profitable team because that just doesn’t work.”

Blitzer made it clear he and Harris are in this for the long haul and understand that losing money now is part of the pain that must be endured for the gains they’ll experience down the road.
- See more at: http://fireandice.northjersey.com/fire-ice-1.174987/a-year-after-sale-devils-owners-expect-to-lose-money-again-in-2014-15-but-envision-bright-future-1.1068314#sthash.NLbMbZko.dpuf