What About the Devils?
November 6, 2009 by Big Tony
For starters let me take a moment to point out the upcoming Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Congrats to this year’s inductees (Brett Hull, Brian Leech, Luc Robitaille, Steve Yzerman, and Lou Lamoriello) because reaching such a goal requires a lot of hard work and dedication for many years so these guys are to be congratulated. I grew up watching these guys play the game and it is their play that made me love it so much especially Brian Leech; being an American born player I felt like I could identify with him moreso than the others. Also, love him or hate him one must give credit to Lou Lamoriello for building some of the greatest teams of the last 15 years. Lamoriello is a bit erratic but the man wins plain and simple so although I am not and never will be a Devils fan I tip my cap to Mr. Lamoriello.
Speaking of the New Jersey Devils there is a lot of talk year in and year out about moving the likes of the Coyotes, Thrashers, Panthers, etc. out of their warm weather cities and back up north to where hockey is much more relevant. Those arguments all have at least some validity to them, but that said why do we not hear the same thing about the New Jersey Devils? Sure New Jersey has been very successful the last 15 years or so but despite that their attendance numbers are awful. At almost any time one can watch a Devils’ home game and see of ton of empty seats AND they have a really tough time selling out even playoff games. It may be a matter of oversaturation with the Rangers, Isles, and Flyers all taking their share of that market away from the Devils but no matter the reason the numbers don’t lie. In a lot of the warm weather cities the teams have experienced little success but when they have the fans have been there (Tampa in 2004 and Florida in 1996 to be exact) but New Jersey wins all the time and yet empty seats are a chronic problem. So while it may seem like a dumb idea when you first hear it—new building or not—why not consider relocating the New Jersey Devils to a place where they will be appreciated?