New Jersey Devils

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This article is about the hockey team in New Jersey. For the cryptozoology creature, see Jersey Devil. For other uses, see Jersey Devil (disambiguation).
New Jersey Devils
2014–15 New Jersey Devils season
Conference Eastern
Division Metropolitan
Founded 1974
History Kansas City Scouts
19741976
Colorado Rockies
19761982
New Jersey Devils
1982–present
Home arena Prudential Center
City Newark, New Jersey
ECM-Uniform-NJD.PNG
Colors Red, black and white

              

Media MSG Plus
MSG 2
MSG
WFAN
WBBR
Owner(s) New Jersey Devils, LLC
(Josh Harris, governor)[1]
General manager Lou Lamoriello
Head coach Adam Oates
Scott Stevens
Captain Bryce Salvador
Minor league affiliates Albany Devils (AHL)
Stanley Cups 3 (1994–95, 1999–00, 2002–03)
Conference championships 5 (1994–95, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2011–12)
Presidents' Trophies 0
Division championships 9 (1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10)
Official website devils.nhl.com

The New Jersey Devils are a professional hockey team based in Newark, New Jersey, that competes in the National Hockey League (NHL). They are members of the league's Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference. The club was founded in Kansas City, Missouri as the Kansas City Scouts in 1974, moved after two seasons to Denver, where they were known as the Colorado Rockies, then established itself in New Jersey in 1982. For their first 25 seasons in New Jersey, the Devils were based at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford and played their home games at Brendan Byrne Arena. Prior to the 2007–08 season, the Devils relocated to Newark and now play their home games at the Prudential Center.

The franchise had been poor to mediocre in the eight years before moving to New Jersey. The pattern continued in its first five years in New Jersey as they failed to make the playoffs and never finished higher than fifth in their division. Their fortunes began to turn around following the hiring of current president and general manager Lou Lamoriello in 1987. Under Lamoriello's stewardship, the Devils made the Stanley Cup playoffs all but three times between 1988 and 2012, including thirteen berths in a row from 1997 to 2010, and finished with a winning record every season from 1992–93 to 2009–10. The Devils have reached the Stanley Cup Finals five times, winning in 1994–95, 1999–00 and 2002–03.

The Devils were known for their defense-first approach throughout their years of Cup contention, but have moved towards a more offensive style.[2][3] The Devils have a rivalry with their cross-Hudson River neighbor, the New York Rangers, as well as a rivalry with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Devils won the Atlantic Division regular season title nine times, most recently in 2009–10, before transferring to the newly created Metropolitan Division as part of the NHL's realignment in 2013.

History[edit]

Kansas City and Colorado[edit]

In 1972, the NHL announced plans to add two expansion teams, including one in Kansas City, Missouri. Edwin G. Thompson led the group that purchased ownership of the team, which was nicknamed the Scouts in reference to "a statue in a Kansas City park that was represented in their final logo."[4] In the team's inaugural season, 1974–75, the Scouts were forced to wait until the ninth game to play in Kansas City's Kemper Arena, and did not post a win until beating the Washington Capitals, their expansion brethren, in their tenth contest.[5] With 41 points in their inaugural season, the Scouts finished last in the Smythe Division; only the Capitals had fewer points in the NHL.[6] They fell to 36 points the following season, and had a 27-game losing streak.[7] The Scouts had difficulty drawing fans to home games, and National Hockey League Players' Association leader Alan Eagleson publicly expressed concerns about whether Scouts players would be paid.[5]

Logo of the Kansas City Scouts (1974–1976).

After two seasons in Kansas City, the franchise moved to Denver and was renamed the Colorado Rockies[8] it played at the McNichols Sports Arena. The team won its first game as the Rockies, 4–2, against the Toronto Maple Leafs.[9] The Rockies were in position to qualify for the playoffs 60 games into the 1976–77 season, but a streak of 18 games without a win caused them to fall from contention.[10] The Rockies ended the campaign last in the division with a 20–46–14 record and 54 points,[11] and improved to 59 points the next season. Despite having the sixth-worst record in the league, the Rockies beat out the Vancouver Canucks for second in the division by two points and gained a playoff berth.[12] The Philadelphia Flyers eliminated the Rockies from the playoffs in the preliminary rounds.[13]

Logo of the Colorado Rockies (1976–1982).

A lack of stability continually plagued the team. In its six seasons in Colorado, the franchise never won more than 22 games and did not return to the playoffs after 1977–78.[14] Prior to the 1978–79 season, the team was sold to New Jersey trucking tycoon Arthur Imperatore, who intended to move the team to his home state.[15] The plan was criticized due to the existence of three other NHL teams in the region, and the proposed New Jersey arena was still under construction; the franchise ultimately stayed in Denver.[16][17] In 1979, the team hired Don Cherry as head coach and featured forward Lanny McDonald. Despite Cherry's, the Rockies still posted the worst record in the NHL and he was fired after the season.[18] After two more years in Denver, the Rockies were sold to a group headed by John McMullen (who also owned Major League Baseball's Houston Astros) on May 27, 1982, and the franchise moved to New Jersey. As part of the relocation deal, the Devils had to compensate the three existing teams in the region—the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, and Flyers—for encroaching on their territory.[19]

New Jersey[edit]

1982–1993: Building the foundation[edit]

The Jersey Devil, the inspiration for the team's name.

On June 30, 1982, the team was renamed the New Jersey Devils, after the legend of the Jersey Devil, a creature that allegedly inhabited the Pine Barrens of South Jersey. Over 10,000 people voted in a contest held to select the name.[20] The team began play in East Rutherford, New Jersey at the Brendan Byrne Arena, later renamed the Continental Airlines Arena and now the Izod Center, where they would call home through the 2006–07 season.[21][22] The Devils were initially placed in the Patrick Division. Their first game ended in a 3–3 tie against the Pittsburgh Penguins, with their first goal scored by Don Lever.[23] Their first win, a 3–2 victory, came in New Jersey at the expense of the Rangers.[24] The team finished with a 17–49–14 record, putting them three points above last place in the Patrick Division.[23]

In the following season, the Devils were criticized by Wayne Gretzky after a 13–4 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. In a post-game interview, Gretzky said that the Devils were "putting a Mickey Mouse operation on the ice."[25] Later, Gretzky said that his comment was "blown out of proportion". In response, many Devils fans wore Mickey Mouse apparel when the Oilers returned to New Jersey.[26] Also in the 1983–84 season, the Devils hosted the annual NHL All-Star Game. New Jersey's Chico Resch was the winning goaltender, and Devils defenseman Joe Cirella tallied a goal as the Wales Conference beat the Campbell Conference 7–6.[24] However, the team did not achieve much success. Head coach Bill MacMillan was fired 20 games into the season Tom McVie was named the new coach. The Devils won only 17 games and after the season Doug Carpenter succeeded McVie.[27]

The Devils assembled a core of players that included John MacLean, Bruce Driver, Ken Daneyko, Kirk Muller, and Pat Verbeek, with Resch as their goalie.[28] Their record improved each season between 1983–84 and 1986–87. However, they were unable to reach the playoffs.[29] Despite their improvement, the Devils remained last in the Patrick Division in 1985–86 and 1986–87.[28] McMullen hired Providence College athletic director Lou Lamoriello as team president in April 1987.[30] To gain greater control over franchise operations, Lamoriello appointed himself general manager before the 1987–88 season.[31]

First version of the Devils logo, used from 1982 to 1992. The green border was replaced with a black one in 1992.

The 1987–88 Devils garnered the franchise's first winning record.[29] On the final day of the regular season, they were tied with their rivals, the Rangers, for the final playoff spot in the Patrick Division. After New York defeated the Quebec Nordiques 3–0, the Devils needed to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks. The Devils were trailing 3–2 midway through the third period when John MacLean tied the game, and with 2:39 left in overtime, he added the winning goal. Although the Rangers and Devils both finished with 82 points, the Devils had two more wins, sending them to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history as the New Jersey Devils.[32][33] The team made it all the way to the Wales Conference finals, but lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games. In that series, head coach Jim Schoenfeld verbally abused referee Don Koharski after the third game, screaming at him. During the exchange, Koharski fell and Schoenfeld said to him "Have another doughnut, you fat pig!"[34] Schoenfeld was given a suspension by the league, but due to a favorable court order he was able to coach in the fourth game of the series. In protest, referee Dave Newell and linesmen Gord Broseker and Ray Scapinello refused to work the game. Three off-ice officials—Paul McInnis, Jim Sullivan, and Vin Godleski—were tracked down to work the game.[34]

The next season, the Devils once again slipped below .500 and missed the playoffs.[35] Among the postseason player changes Lamoriello made in the offseason was the signing of two Soviet stars: Viacheslav Fetisov and Sergei Starikov. The Devils drafted Fetisov years earlier in the 1983 entry draft, but the Soviet government did not allow Fetisov, who was a member of the national team, to leave the country.[36] Shortly after, the Devils signed Fetisov's defense partner, Alexei Kasatonov.[37]

The team changed coaches midway through each of the next two seasons. Schoenfeld was replaced with John Cunniff in 1989–90, and Tom McVie was hired midway through the 1990–91 season and helmed the team through its third-straight first-round elimination in 1991–92.[29] Herb Brooks, who coached the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" team, was brought in for the 1992–93 season, but when the team yet again was eliminated in the first round, he was fired and replaced with former Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Lemaire.[38][39]

1993–2000: A championship franchise[edit]

Under Lemaire, the team played during the 1993–94 regular season with a lineup that included defensemen Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer and Ken Daneyko, forwards Stephane Richer, John MacLean, Bobby Holik and Claude Lemieux, and goaltenders Chris Terreri and Martin Brodeur; the latter goaltender was honored as the league's top rookie with the Calder Memorial Trophy.[39][40] The Devils scored 330 times in the regular season and set a franchise record with 106 points, second behind the New York Rangers in the Atlantic Division. The Devils and Rangers met in an Eastern Conference Finals match-up, which went seven games. Going into Game 6 in New Jersey, the Devils led the series 3–2. Before the game Rangers captain Mark Messier guaranteed that the Rangers would win Game 6. Messier led his team back, netting a hat trick to help the Rangers overcome an early 2–0 Devils lead and force a decisive content. In Game 7, the Devils' Valeri Zelepukin tied the score at 1–1 with 7.7 seconds remaining, but the Devils were defeated in double overtime on a goal by Stephane Matteau.[39]

Despite the setback, the team returned to the Eastern Conference Finals during the lockout-shortened 1994–95 season and defeated the Philadelphia Flyers four games to two.[41] They swept the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings to win New Jersey's first-ever Stanley Cup, as they brought the Stanley Cup across the Hudson River from New York, with the Rangers having won the Stanley Cup the year before. Claude Lemieux was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP.[42] The success came amid constant rumors that the team would move for the third time in its history to Nashville.[43] Staring at the prospect of losing the team, the state agreed to fund a renovation of the Devils' arena.[44]

The Devils missed the playoffs by 2 points the following season, with a 37–33–12 record. They were beaten by the Tampa Bay Lightning for the last playoff spot in the East on the last day of the season, after a 5–2 loss to the Ottawa Senators in a must-win game.[45] It marked the first time in 26 years that a defending Cup champion failed to reach the playoffs.[46] For the remainder of the decade, the Devils won at least 45 games every season, but were unable to make a deep playoff run. Despite posting 104 points in the 1996–97 season and 107 in 1997–98,[29] they were ousted by the Rangers in the second round of the 1997 playoffs and in the first round by the Senators a year later.[47] Lemaire resigned after that season and was replaced by assistant Robbie Ftorek.[48] However, the next season ended as the previous one, with a first-round loss – this time to the Pittsburgh Penguins.[47]

The 1999–2000 Devils championship team engraved on the Stanley Cup

Late in the 1999–2000 season, Lamoriello made the decision to fire Ftorek and replace him with assistant Larry Robinson, which the New York Post's Mark Everson described as "pure panic" at the prospect of another early-round playoff elimination.[49] The Devils were in position to reach the playoff, but Lamoriello reacted to a stretch of 17 games in which the team went 5–10–2.[49] New Jersey followed the move by defeating the Florida Panthers, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Philadelphia Flyers to make the Stanley Cup Finals.[47] In the Finals, the Devils reached the top again, defeating the defending champion Dallas Stars in six games to win the Stanley Cup for the second time.[50] Veterans such as Stevens, Holik, Niedermayer, and Brodeur were joined by new players acquired in the intervening five years including Patrik Elias, Petr Sykora, Jason Arnott, Alexander Mogilny, and Calder Trophy recipient Scott Gomez.[51] The Devils' second championship run included a come-from-behind victory in the conference finals. They trailed the Philadelphia Flyers three games to one, but rebounded to win three straight games and the series. This was the first time in NHL Conference Finals history that a 3–1 deficit was surmounted.[52] This series featured a hit that captain Scott Stevens laid on Flyers center Eric Lindros in the seventh game, which effectively ended Lindros' career in Philadelphia.[53] Stevens was named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy,[54] as the Devils clinched the Stanley Cup on Arnott's goal in double-overtime of Game 6 in Dallas.[50]

In 2000, McMullen sold the team to Puck Holdings, an affiliate of YankeeNets, for $176 million. The owners wanted to program Devils games on what eventually became the YES Network and move the team to a new arena in Newark. Neither of these proposals became reality under Puck Holdings' ownership.[55] For the start of the next season, Lamoriello was appointed CEO of both the Devils and the New Jersey Nets National Basketball Association team. He remained at the helm of the basketball team until it was sold with the intention of moving it to Brooklyn in 2004.[56]

2001–2007: A third Cup and the lockout[edit]

Led by the Elias-Arnott-Sykora line (The A Line) on offense and the goaltending of Brodeur (who appeared in a record 97 games between the regular season and playoffs),[57][58] the Devils reached the Stanley Cup Finals for the second straight year in 2001. They lost the series to the Colorado Avalanche despite leading 3–2.[59] John Madden became the first player in franchise history to win the Frank J. Selke Trophy (for top defensive forward).[60] In the 2001–02 season, they were expected to be contenders once again,[61] and they finished the season as the 3rd best team in the Atlantic Division, with 95 points. The Devils entered the playoffs as a 6 seed, but lost in the first round to the number 3 seed Carolina Hurricanes.

The Devils present President George W. Bush with a jersey after winning the 2003 Stanley Cup Championship.

In 2003, the Devils finished first in the Atlantic Division with 108 points.[62] Their playoff run included a seven-game conference final series victory, decided in the final three minutes on a goal by forward Jeff Friesen, over the Ottawa Senators.[63] In the Stanley Cup Finals, the Devils and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim had a back and forth battle, with both teams winning only their home games. The Devils brought the Stanley Cup to New Jersey a third time, defeating the Mighty Ducks in the seventh game of the Finals in New Jersey.[62] After the series, Daneyko, a long-time fan favorite,[64] announced his retirement. Brodeur was awarded the Vezina Trophy as outstanding goaltender in the regular season for the first time in his career, having won 41 games in the regular season to top the NHL.[62]

In the 2003–04 season, Brodeur took home the Vezina Trophy again.[65] Despite losing team captain Scott Stevens in the 38th game of the season to a concussion,[66] the Devils finished second in the Atlantic Division with 100 points. With the sixth seed in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Devils lost to the Philadelphia Flyers four games to one.[67] In March 2004, near the end of the season, Lehman Brothers executive Jeff Vanderbeek purchased a controlling interest from Puck Holdings and resigned from Lehman Brothers to assume full-time ownership. He had been a minority owner since the 2000 sale. Like Puck Holdings/YankeeNets, Vanderbeek largely left the Devils in Lamoriello's hands.[68]

Vanderbeek was a strong proponent of the proposed arena in Newark, which first received funding from the city council during Puck Holdings' ownership in 2002.[69] After legal battles over both eminent domain and the city's financial participation in the arena project, the final deal was approved by council in October 2004,[70] and the groundbreaking occurred almost exactly a year later.[71] Nonetheless, in January 2006 financial issues threatened to halt the deal, as the Devils did not provide the city with a required letter of credit until the last possible day.[72]

Though construction was well underway, in late summer 2006, Cory Booker, who had recently taken office as Mayor of Newark, promised to reevaluate the deal and considered backing out.[73][74] In October Booker conceded there would be "a first-class arena built in the city of Newark, whether we like it or not",[75] and soon after the Devils struck a deal including both property and monetary givebacks that appeased city officials.[76] The arena, which was named the Prudential Center when Newark-based Prudential Financial purchased naming rights in early 2007,[77] opened shortly after the start of the 2007–08 season.[78]

Goaltender Martin Brodeur has led the Devils to three Stanley Cup championships, and he is the NHL's all-time leader in goalie wins, shutouts and awarded goals.[79]

During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, many Devils players played in European leagues and in the hockey world championships.[80] Patrik Elias, who was playing in the Russian Superleague, contracted hepatitis A.[81] Faced with Elias' indefinite recovery timetable, plus the loss of defensive stalwarts Scott Niedermayer to free agency and Scott Stevens to retirement, Lamoriello signed veteran defenseman Dan McGillis and two former Devils — winger Alexander Mogilny and defenseman Vladimir Malakhov, none of whom finished the season on the ice.[82][83][84] In July 2005, the team announced that head coach Pat Burns did not return for the 2005–2006 season after being diagnosed with cancer for the second time in little more than a year.[85] Assistant coach Larry Robinson, the team's head coach from 2000 to 2002, was promoted to start the season.[86]

The Devils struggled early in the 2005–06 season, ending the 2005 calendar year with a 16–18–5 record.[87] Robinson resigned as head coach on December 19, and Lamoriello moved down to the bench.[88] Once Elias returned from his bout with hepatitis, the team quickly turned around, finishing 46–27–9 after a season-ending eleven-game winning streak capped with a 4–3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. During that final victory, which clinched the Devils' sixth division title, Brian Gionta set a new team record for goals in a season with 48, topping Pat Verbeek's 46.[89] The win streak to close the year was also an NHL record.[90] The Devils won their first round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Rangers four games to none, but were eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes in the next round.[47]

In the offseason, the Devils hired former Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien to replace Lamoriello behind the bench.[91] However, in the last week of the 2006–07 Devils season, with just three games left, Julien was fired, and Lamoriello once again reprised his coaching role.[92] The Devils went on to win their seventh Atlantic Division title and earn the second seed in the Eastern Conference after finishing ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins by two points.[93] They defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games in the first round, but fell to the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in five games.[47] The conclusion of the series marked the end of the Devils' time at the Continental Airlines Arena.[94]

2007–2013: Move to Newark and Return to the Finals[edit]

The Devils' home arena since 2007, the Prudential Center.

Before the move to Newark, the Devils hired their 14th coach in a 26-season span, Brent Sutter.[95] On August 7, 2007, the Devils signed former Islander Arron Asham. As the Devils preseason came to an end, prospects Nicklas Bergfors and David Clarkson made the final roster. The Devils opened their new arena, the Prudential Center, on October 27, 2007, against the Ottawa Senators, after opening the season with a nine-game road trip. The game ended with a 4–1 win for Ottawa.[96] In the last game of the 2007–08 season against the Rangers, the Devils won in a shootout, giving them home ice advantage over the Rangers in the playoffs.[97] The Devils lost the series against the Rangers 4–1, losing all three games at home.[98] Brodeur did win the Vezina Trophy for the fourth time in five years for his performance in the regular season.[65]

For the 2008–09 season, the Devils signed Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik, both making their second stints with the team.[99] The Devils were forced to play without Brodeur for over three months after he tore a biceps tendon in November, but strong play by backup goalie Scott Clemmensen kept the Devils atop the Atlantic Division.[100] After his return, Brodeur broke Patrick Roy's record for regular season wins on March 17, 2009, with his 552nd victory, while Patrik Elias became the franchise's all-time leading scorer with his 702nd point.[101] In the opening round of the 2009 playoffs, the Devils were eliminated in a Game 7 loss in which the Carolina Hurricanes scored two goals in the last minute and twenty seconds to erase a 3–2 Devils lead.[102]

In the offseason, the Devils announced that Sutter was stepping down from his position, citing personal and family reasons; he became the coach of the Calgary Flames shortly afterward.[103] Jacques Lemaire returned to the head coach position.[104] During the 2009–10 season, the Devils made a trade to acquire star left wing Ilya Kovalchuk from the Atlanta Thrashers.[105] The Devils had their 12th 100-point season in their last 15 attempts. They finished the season in first place in the Atlantic Division, second in the Eastern Conference, and played in the postseason for the 13th straight time. Their seeding matched them up against Philadelphia in the first round, and they were eliminated 4 games to 1.[106]

After Lemaire retired from coaching, the Devils announced that the team's all-time leading scorer, John MacLean, would become their new head coach.[107] During the offseason, the Devils signed Kovalchuk to a 15-year, $100 million contract, keeping him in New Jersey until the conclusion of the 2024–25 season; the move came after the NHL had rejected a 17-year contract for allegedly circumventing the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement.[108] The league still penalized the Devils for trying to circumvent the NHL salary cap with a money fine, a third round draft choice in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and one future first round draft choice within the next four seasons.[109] MacLean led the team to a record of 9–22–2, and sitting in last place in the NHL on December 23 he was removed in favor of Lemaire, coming out of retirement for his third stint as head coach of the Devils and second in less than two seasons.[110] Despite a midseason turnaround in performance,[111] the Devils failed to qualify for the playoffs, the first time that had occurred since 1996.[112]

In the 2011 offseason, Lemaire was replaced by former Florida Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer.[113] DeBoer's new system helped develop a strong offense, which had seven 40 point scorers by the season's end and broke an NHL record for the best regular season penalty kill since before the Expansion Era.[114][115] Four players - Kovalchuk, Elias, Parise, and David Clarkson - scored 30 or more goals, with Kovalchuk and Elias also finishing the season among the league's top ten point scorers.[116] Rookie forward Adam Henrique totaled 51 points and earned a Calder Trophy nomination for Rookie of the Year.[117] As the sixth seed of the Eastern playoffs, the Devils defeated Southeast champions Florida Panthers before overcoming both divisional rivals, the Flyers and Rangers, to win the conference and return to the Finals after nine years.[118][119] Facing the Los Angeles Kings in the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, the Devils managed to not be swept after losing the first three games in the series, but still lost the Cup in six games.[47][120]

During the 2012 offseason, Zach Parise signed a 13-year, $98  million contract with the Minnesota Wild, leaving the Devils after one season as team captain.[121] The Devils entered the lockout-shortened season with Bryce Salvador as their new captain.[122] However, the Devils failed to repeat the performance of the year past, finishing 19–19–10 in 48 games, missing the playoffs.[123]

2013–present: the Harris–Blitzer era[edit]

The Devils' longtime financial struggles worsened during the 2012–13 season, and at one point the team needed to borrow $30 million to meet their payroll.[124] This prompted owner Jeff Vanderbeek to sell the team.[125] Andrew Barroway, the attorney who loaned the team the $30 million, was one potential buyer.[124] Ultimately, the team was sold to Josh Harris, owner of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, and David S. Blitzer, for over $320 million.[125] The sale was formally announced on August 15, 2013.[126] During the offseason, Kovalchuk announced he would retire from the NHL, expressing a desire to return home to Russia along with his family.[127] To replace him, the Devils signed veteran Jaromir Jagr,[128] who despite being 41 years old, led the team scoring in the 2013–14 season. The Devils did not make the playoffs by five points.[129][130]

Season-by-season record[edit]

Last six seasons: Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Season GP W L OTL Pts GF GA Finish Playoffs.
2009–10 82 48 27 7 103 222 191 1st, Atlantic Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 1–4 (Flyers)
2010–11 82 38 39 5 81 174 209 4th, Atlantic Did not qualify
2011–12 82 48 28 6 102 228 209 4th, Atlantic Lost in Stanley Cup Finals, 2–4 (Kings)
2012–13 48 19 19 10 48 112 129 5th, Atlantic Did not qualify
2013–14 82 35 29 18 86 194 206 6th, Metropolitan Did not qualify

Team identity[edit]

[edit]

The Devils' logo is a monogram of the letters "N", and "J", rendered with devil horns at the top of the "J" and a pointed tail at the bottom. The monogram was red with a green outline when the team began playing in New Jersey, but changed the outline color in black in 1992, due to difficulties in making the green color consistent between its logo and jerseys. The logo sits inside an open black circle, and lies on a field of white in the middle of the chest on both uniforms.[131]

Before the Devils' move from Colorado in 1982, then-owner John McMullen's wife designed a prototype logo, which was then modified by a professional graphic design and marketing firm, and became the green-and-red logo used by the team for the first ten years in New Jersey.[132]

Fans[edit]

The Devils have a group of fans that has become known as the "Devils Army."[133] According to a Huffington Post article in August 2013, the Devils were the NHL's most social team, a distinction based on their interactions with fans on various social media outlets.[134]

Jerseys[edit]

The old green style jerseys used from 1982 to 1992
The current jerseys used since 1992

The current team colors are red, black and white, and they can be seen on both the home and road jerseys. The home jersey, which was the team's road jersey until the NHL swapped home and road colors in 2003,[135] is dominantly red in color. There are three black and white stripes, one across each arm and one across the waist. The road jersey (the team's former home jersey) is white in color with a similar design, except that the three stripes are black and red. The shoulders are draped with black on both uniforms. Before the 1992–93 season, the uniforms were green and red with slightly different striping[136] leading some fans to affectionately refer to them as "Christmas colors".[137] The Devils have yet to introduce a third jersey and are one of only two NHL teams (Detroit is the other) never to have worn one.[138] GM Lou Lamoriello has stated that he does not ever intend to introduce a third jersey for the Devils, saying, "I don't believe in it," Lamoriello said. "I strongly believe that you have to have one identity as a team. We want to create a feeling that our home and away jerseys are special and that it means something special to wear one."[139] Unlike most teams, the team kept the same uniform design when the NHL switched to the Rbk EDGE jerseys for the 2007–08 NHL season.

On August 20, 2009, Lamoriello announced that the Devils would wear their classic red, white and green jerseys on their Saint Patrick's Day 2010 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Lamoriello stated, "The original red, green and white jerseys are a part of our history here in New Jersey. We have always been an organization that takes great pride in its tradition. This is something we believe our fans will enjoy for that one special night."[140] The Devils defeated the Penguins, 5–2. Martin Brodeur wore a special replica helmet of the one from his first NHL game. They wore the retro jerseys again on March 18, 2011, against the Washington Capitals; a road game was scheduled on St. Patrick's Day that year. The Devils lost 3–0. They wore them a third time on March 17, 2012, losing 5–2 to the Penguins. The throwbacks were used again in a 7–3 loss to the Rangers in the 2014 NHL Stadium Series at Yankee Stadium on January 26, and on March 18 in a 4–2 loss to the Boston Bruins.

Mascot[edit]

The current mascot is "NJ Devil", a 7-foot (2.1 m) tall devil who plays into the myth of the Jersey Devil. NJ Devil keeps the crowd excited, signs autographs, participates in entertainment during the intermissions, skates across the ice, throws T-shirts, and runs throughout the aisles of the arena to high five fans.[141]

Prior to 1993, the mascot was "Slapshot", a large Devils hockey puck that interacted with the fans. However, the man inside the costume resigned after he was accused of touching three women inappropriately while in costume. The lawsuit and all charges were dropped as nothing could be proven. However, to remove the stigma of the lawsuit, Slapshot was retired and has not returned since.[142]

Style of play[edit]

The Devils have been known as a defense-first team since Jacques Lemaire's first tenure,[143] although the Devils have twice led the Eastern Conference in goals scored, once leading the NHL in goals scored (295 goals for in 2000–2001).[144][145] Lemaire gave the Devils their defensive mantra when he implemented a system commonly called the neutral zone trap.[146] This system is designed to force teams to turn over the puck in the neutral zone leading to a counterattack.[147] This style of play led the team to be chastised by the media and hockey purists for "making the NHL boring".[148] Nevertheless, the Devils were successful using this style of play, and Devils coach Larry Robinson asserted that the Montreal Canadiens teams he played on in the 1970s (who also won the Cup many times) used a form of the trap, though it did not have a name.[149]

Under Brent Sutter, the team adopted less of a trap and more of a transitional, aggressive forechecking style of play which also emphasized puck possession and instilled the cycle to start the 2007–2008 season.[150] This led to many high scoring games early in the 07–08 season for New Jersey. New Jersey went on to score 244 goals in the '08–09 season, the most the team had scored in eight seasons. However, with the return of Jacques Lemaire as head coach, the Devils resumed a more defense-oriented playing style, scoring just 222 goals and allowing only 191, an NHL best in the 2009–10 season, earning Martin Brodeur his fifth William M. Jennings Trophy.

Lemaire has since re-entered retirement, and was replaced by former Florida Panthers coach Peter DeBoer on July 19, 2011. The team showed greater offensive prowess during the 2011–12 season, employing a more aggressive forecheck.[151] Unlike Sutter's system, DeBoer's system still relies heavily on solid defense to be equally as prevalent as the offense, not favoring one side of the ice over another.

Rivalries[edit]

The Devils developed strong rivalries with two teams out of geographical proximity and frequent playoff confrontations. The "Battle of the Hudson River" with the New York Rangers is so-called as the Devils' arenas in the New York metropolitan area were always less than ten miles and across the Hudson River from Madison Square Garden.[152] New Jersey's proximity with Pennsylvania also led to a rivalry with the Philadelphia Flyers, the "Battle of the Jersey Turnpike". The Flyers have a large following in South Jersey and train in Voorhees Township. Both teams had the most titles of the Atlantic Division prior to the 2013 realignment, with 9 to the Devils and 6 to the Flyers.[153]

Players and personnel[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Updated March 2, 2015.[154]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
18 Canada Bernier, SteveSteve Bernier RW R 29 2012 Quebec City, Quebec
23 Canada Cammalleri, MichaelMichael Cammalleri LW L 32 2014 Richmond Hill, Ontario
29 Canada Clowe, RyaneRyane Clowe Injured Reserve LW L 32 2013 Mount Pearl, Newfoundland
26 Czech Republic Elias, PatrikPatrik Elias (A) LW/C L 38 1994 Třebíč, Czechoslovakia
32 Canada Fraser, MarkMark Fraser D L 28 2014 Ottawa, Ontario
22 Canada Gelinas, EricEric Gelinas D L 23 2009 Vanier, Ontario
11 United States Gionta, StephenStephen Gionta C R 31 2010 Rochester, New York
21 United States Gomez, ScottScott Gomez C L 35 2014 Anchorage, Alaska
6 United States Greene, AndyAndy Greene (A) D L 32 2006 Trenton, Michigan
10 United States Harrold, PeterPeter Harrold D R 31 2011 Kirtland Hills, Ohio
9 Czech Republic Havlat, MartinMartin Havlat LW L 33 2014 Mladá Boleslav, Czechoslovakia
14 Canada Henrique, AdamAdam Henrique LW/C L 25 2008 Brantford, Ontario
16 Sweden Josefson, JacobJacob Josefson C L 24 2009 Stockholm, Sweden
1 United States Kinkaid, KeithKeith Kinkaid G L 25 2010 Farmingville, New York
5 Sweden Larsson, AdamAdam Larsson D R 22 2011 Skellefteå, Sweden
7 United States Merrill, JonJon Merrill D L 23 2010 Brighton, Michigan
15 Finland Ruutu, TuomoTuomo Ruutu RW L 32 2014 Vantaa, Finland
17 Canada Ryder, MichaelMichael Ryder RW R 34 2013 St. John's, Newfoundland
24 Canada Salvador, BryceBryce Salvador (CInjured Reserve D L 39 2008 Brandon, Manitoba
35 United States Schneider, CoryCory Schneider G L 28 2013 Marblehead, Massachusetts
28 Canada Severson, DamonDamon Severson Injured Reserve D R 20 2012 Brandon, Manitoba
20 Canada Tootoo, JordinJordin Tootoo RW R 32 2014 Churchill, Manitoba
19 Canada Zajac, TravisTravis Zajac (A) C R 29 2004 Winnipeg, Manitoba
8 Lithuania Zubrus, DainiusDainius Zubrus RW L 36 2007 Elektrėnai, Soviet Union


Honored members[edit]

Retired numbers[edit]

The retired numbers of Scott Niedermayer, Ken Daneyko, and Scott Stevens

The Devils have retired three numbers thus far, all of whom were key players on their three Stanley Cup-winning teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s.[155]

New Jersey Devils retired numbers
No. Player Position Career Date of retirement
3 Ken Daneyko 1 D 1983–2003 March 24, 2006
4 Scott Stevens 2 D 1991–2005 February 3, 2006
27 Scott Niedermayer 3 D 1991–2004 December 16, 2011
Notes
  • 1 Daneyko holds the record for most games played in a Devils uniform with 1,283 (and spent his entire career with the team).
  • 2 Stevens spent 13 seasons with the Devils, captaining the team for 12 of those seasons (1992–2004).
  • 3 Niedermayer spent the first 13 seasons of his career with the Devils, winning the Norris Trophy in 2004.[156]

Hall of Famers[edit]

Eleven members of the Hockey Hall of Fame have had experience with the Devils upon election. Eight inducted players have played for the Devils, while two inducted coaches and one executive once coached the Devils at some point in their careers. Three others have been inducted as players, but only joined the Devils in various capacities well after their retirement. One broadcaster has been honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame.

  • Peter Stastny, a former center and one of the top goal scorers in the 1980s, played for the Devils from 1990 to 1993 and was inducted in 1998.[157]
  • Defenseman Viacheslav Fetisov, one of the first Soviet players in the NHL, played for the Devils from 1989 to 1995 and was an assistant coach from 1999 to 2002; he was inducted in 2001.[158][159]
  • Scott Stevens was inducted in 2007, his first year of eligibility.[160]
  • Igor Larionov, a member of the team during the 2003–04 season, was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2008.[161]
  • Doug Gilmour, who played with the Devils between 1997 and 1998, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2011.
  • Joe Nieuwendyk, who played with the team between 2002 and 2003, was also elected to the Hall of Fame in 2011.
  • Adam Oates, who served as an assistant coach from 2010 to 2012 before becoming the co-head coach of the Devils in 2014. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2012 as a player.
  • Scott Niedermayer, who played with the team between 1991 and 2004, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2013.
  • Brendan Shanahan, who played with the team between 1987 and 1991 and the 2008–09 season, who was also elected in the Hall of Fame in 2013.
  • Herb Brooks (1992–1993), who led the 1980 U.S. Olympic team to victory in the "Miracle on Ice", was inducted in 2006.[162]
  • Pat Burns, head coach of the Devils from 2002 to 2004, was inducted in 2014.
  • In 2008, longtime Devils broadcaster Mike Emrick won the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award and was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame.
  • In 2009, Lou Lamoriello was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, as part of the Builder category. He also coached the Devils for parts of the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons.
  • Additionally, Devils head coaches Jacques Lemaire (1993–1998, 2009–10, 2010–2011), Larry Robinson (2000–2002, 2005) and Adam Oates (2014–present), had been elected as players prior to joining the Devils organization.

Team captains[edit]

For more details on team captains in ice hockey, see Captain (ice hockey).


This list does not include the former captains of the Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies.

Source:[163]

Head coaches[edit]


*Jacques Lemaire took over as interim head coach in the middle of the season after John MacLean was fired in 2010.

This list does not include the former coaches of the Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies.

Source:[163]

Franchise records[edit]

Scoring leaders

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history.[167] Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

Player Seasons Pos GP G A Pts +/ PIM
Patrik Elias 1995–present LW 1,155 393 590 983 187 527
John MacLean 1983–98 RW 934 347 354 701 42 1,168
Kirk Muller 1984–91 LW 556 185 335 520 -62 −62 572
Scott Niedermayer 1991–04 D 892 112 364 476 172 478
Bobby Holik 1992–09 C 786 202 270 472 134 863
Aaron Broten 1980–90 C 641 162 307 469 -72 −72 367
Scott Gomez 1999–07 C 548 116 334 450 59 362
Scott Stevens 1991–04 D 956 93 337 430 282 1,007
Zach Parise 2005–12 LW 502 194 216 410 57 177
Bruce Driver 1983–95 D 702 83 316 399 6 534

     = current Devils player

Regular season records[168]
Playoff records[169]
Team records[170]
  • Most points in a season: 111 (2000–01)
  • Most wins in a season: 51 (2008–09)
  • Longest season-ending win streak: 11 (2005–06)[90]

Home arenas[edit]

Prudential Center is the current home arena of the team.[22]

Former arenas[edit]

This list does not include the former arenas of the Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies.

Affiliate teams[edit]

The Utica Devils were the American Hockey League affiliate team of the New Jersey Devils from 1987 to 1993, then the Albany River Rats from 1993 to 2006.[29] Later they bought and moved the Lowell Devils in 2006,[171] and in 2010 they were relocated to become the Albany Devils.[172]

In 2006, the Devils purchased ECHL franchise Trenton Titans, who were then renamed Trenton Devils. Following four seasons of on-ice struggles and financial losses, the Devils suspended operations of the Trenton franchise in 2011.[173] (the team would return as the Trenton Titans the following year, playing two more seasons before folding altogether in 2013)[174]

Television and radio[edit]

Television: MSG, MSG Plus, MSG 2

Radio: WFAN

Source:[177]

References[edit]

General[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

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