Devils no longer have obligations to McMullen

Updated: August 23, 2003, 2:17 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

New Jersey Devils: General manager Lou Lamoriello said that a debt to former owner John McMullen has been satisfied and that it was not part of any deal to sell the New Jersey Nets.

Lamoriello, who also serves as the Devils' CEO and president, had issued a statement earlier in the day, saying "Puck Holdings, the entity that owns the New Jersey Devils, announced that the obligations owed today to the previous owners of the Devils have been satisfied."

"I'm talking about the debt to Mr. McMullen," Lamoriello, referring to his statement, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Friday.

It has been widely reported that a $50 million payment by Puck Holdings to McMullen was due Friday, after Puck had purchased the team for $175 million three years to the day.

Lamoriello declined to confirm the amount of Friday's payment.

Puck Holdings is an affiliate of YankeeNets, the holding company that also owns the Nets and New York Yankees.

The New York Times, quoting anonymous sources, reported Wednesday that recent negotiations to sell the Nets, including talks with two out-of-state bidders, were linked to the impending payment deadline.

However, when asked Friday by the AP whether the payment was linked to a Nets deal, Lamoriello said: "absolutely not."

He declined to comment further.

McMullen did not immediately return calls Friday afternoon.

Phoenix Coyotes: Defenseman David Tanabe was signed to a new multi-year contract. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tanabe was acquired with Igor Knyazev from Carolina in exchange for Danny Markov and a conditional draft choice in 2005.

The 23-year-old recorded three goals and 10 assists in 68 games with the Hurricanes last season.

He was drafted by Carolina in the first round in 1999.

New York Rangers: The club has agreed to terms with free-agent defenseman John Jakopin.

Jakopin had no points and 11 penalty minutes in 12 games with San Jose last season. In 18 games with Cleveland of the AHL, Jakopin had four assists.

He has one goal and six assists in 113 NHL games with San Jose, Florida, and Pittsburgh.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Restricted free-agent defenseman Bryan McCabe has been re-signed to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

McCabe, 28, played 75 games for Toronto last season collecting 24 points (six goals, 18 assists) with 135 penalty minutes. The year before, he produced a career-high 43 points, and was second among defensemen that year in goals scored with 17.

A native of St. Catharines, Ontario, McCabe has played eight NHL seasons with the New York Islanders, the Vancouver Canucks, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Maple Leafs.

  • Defenseman Karel Pilar will miss training camp in Sweden due to a "recurring medical problem." A team spokesman declined to say more about the problem Friday.

    Pilar missed most of last season because of a virus that was so severe it has weakened his heart.

    Pilar, 25, had three goals and four assists with 12 penalty minutes in 17 games. He also had two goals and five assists in seven games with St. John's of the American Hockey League.

    Training camp opens Sept. 12.

    Dallas Stars: Defenseman Richard Matvichuk and his family were evacuated from their summer home in Kelowna, British Columbia, into a hotel Thursday night because of the wildfires sweeping through western Canada.

    Matvichuk; his fiancee, Tracy; and son, Cole, were among the 10,000 or so displaced by the fires, which have covered approximately 100 square miles.

    "It was very well organized because they gave us a couple of days to realize that this was a possibility," he said. "We packed up what we could and took down all of the (hockey) sweaters and photos off the wall. And then when they came around last night, they pretty much told us we had an hour and we had to get out."

    Matvichuk said he probably would stay in the area a little longer than originally planned to make sure everything is safe before he heads south.

    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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