The National Hockey League’s Board of Governors approved the sale Thursday of the New Jersey Devils to the partnership of David Blitzer and Joshua Harris.
Harris is co-founder of Apollo Global Management, one of the largest private equity firms in the world, according to nj.com. Prior Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek, a Somerset County native and Warren resident, will remain with the team as a senior advisor.
Harris was introduced Thursday at a press conference at the Prudential Center, the operating rights for which are included in the sale. Harris also owns the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association.
"It is with great pride that I stand here today at the Prudential Center … and share with you the sense of excitement we have as the new owners of the New Jersey Devils,"Harris told nhl.com. " … I can assure everyone here that David (Blitzer) and I take the responsibility for being stewards of this great franchise seriously and we look forward to building excitement on and off the ice."
In addition, Scott O'Neill was hired as the team's chief executive officer and will lead the business side of the organization, according to nhl.com. Lou Lamoriello, who has been with the franchise since 1987 and built three Stanley Cup-winning teams, will be staying with the team as president and general manager.
"Over the past week or so I have had the great privilege and honor of getting together with Josh and David," Lamoriello told nhl.com.
"I didn't know either one prior to that and we have spent considerable time together and I can honestly stand here and say that each time that I did spend with them I got more impressed. … When you get to meet them, what you're impressed with is the realism, the honesty, the up-frontness and being direct. In the conversations, what I took out of it was their commitment to excellence, their commitment to drive, to work ethic and never compromising honesty and integrity.”
Vanderbeek had been the majority owner of the Devils since 2004.