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The Devils' mess

JASON ARNOTT, Devils Center Contract: UFA this summer,

Contract: UFA this summer, $4.5 million cap hit

Figuring they were a lock to make a deep playoff run, the Devils acquired Arnott from Nashville to add scoring depth. Like the rest of their plans this year, it backfired. Arnott's played OK, but barring the longest winning streak in the history of the NHL, the Devils will miss the playoffs by a wide margin.

According to reports, there may be teams willing to take on his $4.5 million cap hit to boost their size and scoring -- Montreal and Nashville to name a couple. The problem is Arnott, 36, has a no-movement clause and may be sick of moving around. It would be a shrewd move in a long line of shrewd moves by Devils GM Lou Lamioriello if he can find a way to get rid of Arnott.

Credit: AP

As sorted through by The Record's Tom Gulitti here, the Devils may be for sale... Or not.

Principal owner Jeffrey Vanderbeek does not want to sell; neither does minority stakeholder Peter Simon. Brick City, a venture that helped get the Prudential Center built, does want to sell, and feels it can force a sale of the entire team and arena rights through its legal agreement.

The two sides -- Vanderbeek and Brick City -- have been at war for months, and now it seems the war is about to intensify.

The main problem, of course, is this: Who's buying the Devils? Even if the two sides agree to sell, there isn't much attractive about the team in Newark, currently saddled with huge payroll problems and an arena that doesn't fill, despite the fact it's a good building.

The Sabres are on their way to being sold. The Coyotes are still in limbo. The Thrashers owners are still duking it out in court after years of strife. The Panthers have changed hands numerous times; ditto the Lightning. And we can't forget the Isles' struggles.

But revenues are up for the league. So all is well!

New York Sports