The New Jersey Devils a National Hockey League franchise beleaguered by chronic financial uncertainty under its millionaire owner will likely have a new owner Thursday this one a billionaire according to two officials with knowledge of the deal. Both officials requested anonymity because talks were ongoing.

One said the deal would be finalized Thursday officially ending Jeff Vanderbeek’s nine-year control and ushering in Josh Harris who would become a two-sport mogul; Harris also owns the Philadelphia 76ers.

The second official called Thursday the "target" for a deal to get done. This official while not offering specifics told The Star-Ledger Tuesday night a number of broad issues still needed to be worked through adding "I don’t anticipate any being a show-stopper."

"Process continues to move rapidly" the official said.

One hurdle was cleared quickly late last week — a sale price of roughly $240 million — as talks between Vanderbeek and Harris intensified. While the figure is far less than the estimated value of most of the area’s professional sports teams the deal hardly represents a distress sale given the state of the Devils’ finances.

Vanderbeek has labored under massive loans that are coming due — including $161 million from the banks $34 million from the NHL and another $30 million owed to Andrew Barroway a prominent Philadelphia attorney who also tried to buy the team.

Harris a co-founder of Apollo Global Management one of the largest private equity firms in the world is heading a group which includes David Blitzer himself a giant among private equity investors. Both men have become rich acquiring struggling companies turning them around and ultimately re-selling them for staggering profits.

Along with the team Harris will also get rights to operate Newark’s Prudential Center an arena which not long ago was among the busiest in the world but has slipped in recent times. With the Nets now in Brooklyn and with the competition from other venues in the area the Prudential Center often sits dark when the Devils are away. More than half the Prudential Center’s 76 luxury suites — which go for about $200000 each — have not been sold.