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What About the Devils?

November 6, 2009 by Big Tony · 5 Comments 

prudential center empty seats What About the Devils?
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?

Joe Sakic to Retire

July 8, 2009 by Big Tony · Leave a Comment 

sakic with cup Joe Sakic to Retire
One of the league’s top players for the greater part of the last twenty years is calling it quits. It has been reported that long time Colorado Avalanche captain Joe Sakic will make it official Thursday. Sakic was the first round pick (15th overall) of the then Quebec Nordiques in 1987, played a full season in 1988-1989 and never looked back. He eclipsed the 100 point mark six times in his career including 120 points in 1995-1996 and 118 points in 2000-2001, both seasons resulted in Stanley Cup Championships for the Colorado Avalanche. Not only was it a pleasure to watch him perform on the ice, but it was even greater to see him do it year in and year out for the same organization the whole time. It is especially rare in the age of free agency to see one person stay with one team throughout his career in any sport so it was refreshing that Sakic did that. Sakic’s two Staley Cup rings, 13 all-star team selections, and Olympic Gold Medal will surely land him in the Hockey Hall of Fame once he’s eligible in a few years; but staying on one team all those years is as good an accomplishment as any of those mentioned. It is too bad that injuries hampered him the last two years but he and his teams gave us a lot of great memories before that and some very entertaining hockey which was an honor to watch. Hopefully he stays close to hockey in his post-playing career for the NHL can certainly use someone like him as an ambassador for the game. So congrats to Joe Sakic and good luck to him in retirement.