New Jersey Devils Celebrate 40 Years Of Hockey

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The New Jersey Devils have an upcoming anniversary. Once the season begins, 40 years of hockey has been played in the Garden State. Once being in Colorado, an ownership group headlined by John McMullen brought the team to New Jersey. Since then the Devils have remained in New Jersey and currently play in the City of Newark. 40 years does not seem like a lot, but the franchise has endured moments that cannot be replaced.

New Jersey Devils 40th Anniversary

The New Jersey Devils have an anniversary. There is so much that has happened over 40 years and worth looking back on. Let’s go back in time and into the present about what memories are enshrined forever in Devils hockey history.

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The First Stanley Cup Playoff Berth

This is for the original Devils fans. For the first time in the team history, they would clinch the playoffs. On April 3, 1988 they would be in a deadlock tie with their cross town rival New York Rangers.

After defeating the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime, the mission has been made complete and the team achieved something they have not done before.

Taylor Hall Wins The Hart Trophy

Taylor Hall went on to do something that no Devils forward has ever done. That includes Patrik Elias and Zach Parise. During the 2017-18 season, he went on to score 39 goals, 54 assists, and 93 points. Hall would go on to win the Hart Trophy that season, outbeating Anze Kopitar and Nathan Mackinnon.

He was a mad man on the ice. He did it all from scoring to defense and was the true definition of an MVP player. The forward outscored the closest forward by 30 points. Hall was the first Devil to ever win the award. As a matter of fact, his career year of a season helped propel the Devils to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2012. Unfortunately, the team got bounced in the first round, but it was a season to enjoy. 

Drafting Nico Hischier

The new era of Devils hockey kicked off in 2017. The lottery luck began this draft, and the Devils went on to select centre Nico Hischier. A cornerstone piece and a part of the core they have established now. Hischier was just the beginning. He is locked up long term and helps form the 1-2 punch down the middle. The young pivot is also the captain of the New Jersey Devils. 

The Swiss star is coming off his best season scoring 60 points in 70 games. Hischier has developed himself as a solid two-way centre in this game and is a large piece in the Devils team success. Throughout his career, he has scored 78 goals, 128 assists, and 206 points.

Brodeur Breaks Patrick Roy’s Record

On March 17, 2009 history would be witnessed in the great state of New Jersey. As the club welcomed the Chicago Blackhawks to town and defeated them 5-2. Brodeur has been chasing Patrick Roy and that record for a long time. The wait was over and the record is forever now his. The record-breaking win of 552 will be remembered forever. Growing up fans always chanted “Martys Better”. Now they can forever chant “Martys the best”.

His total wins record of 691 is a record that should stand for a very long time. He also holds the record for shutout victories. Brodeur was a stellar netminder and blessed the organization for decades in the crease. 

Henrique! It’s Over!

The New Jersey Devils have an anniversary, and this memory is 10 years old. Sometimes a goal means more to a fan base and created a memory that lasts a lifetime. This one did just that. During the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, Adam Henrique would score a goal and become a legend. After playing hero in the first round against the Florida Panthers, he got to do it once again.

After a front net scramble, Henrique would find the loose puck and slide it past Henrik Lundqvist. The Devils would defeat the Rangers 3-2 and head to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2003. 

Elias A Lifetime Hero

At the time of the goal, it was arguably the most important goal in Devils’ history. The line of Jason Arnott, Petr Sykora, and Elias was a nightmare to deal with all playoffs. And they would stun the home team crowd. After being down 3-1 in the series and having the game tied by the Philadelphia Flyers, Elias became the hero. With under two minutes left to play, Elias set himself on the side of the goal and deflected the puck past goaltender Brian Boucher. A goal that will live on forever and a moment that would reign victorious. 

Drafting Jack Hughes

Hischier was the reward the first time around, and the Devils have made great draft picks since then. In 2020 they ended up drafting Alexander Holtz, Dawson Mercer, and Shakir Mukhamadulin. Holtz went on to light up the AHL with the Utica Comets. Mercer had a solid rookie campaign scoring 17 goals, 25 assists, and 42 points. The drafting did not end there as they drafted Luke Hughes in 2021, and Simon Nemec in 2022. The fountain of youth is plentiful, but no pick is better than Jack Hughes.

Winning the lottery again in 2019, the Devils selected Hughes first overall. He has the makings to being a super star centre in this league. Despite having a down year as a rookie, he has gotten better each and every year. After an injured campaign, he finished the year with 26 goals, 30 assists, and 56 points. Hughes signed an eight-year contract and will be a Devil for a very long time.

Hughes is young and is only getting better. The sky is the limit for him and there is a lot to be joyful about in regards to the star centre.

Acquiring Scott Stevens

In September of 1991, the Devils would get a player that would change the franchise forever. After the St. Louis Blues went on to sign forward Brendan Shanahan away from the Devils, they were owed compensation. The Blues offered the Devils a wonderful offer. Goaltender Curtis Joseph, forward Rod Brind’Amour, and two draft picks. That’s a substantial offer and one you would think would be accepted. The Devils said no and only wanted Scott Stevens. One player instead of that haul, but that one player changed the franchise completely. 

The physical defenceman would go on to become the captain and would change the franchise forever. He is one of the all-time great players in Devils history. He led the franchise to three Stanley Cups and was the first Devil to have his number retired in team history. 

The Third Stanley Cup

The Devils would win their third Stanley Cup in franchise history. It would be the third championship in nine years. The team also made the Finals in 2001 but ultimately lost to Ray Bourque and the high-powered Colorado Avalanche. Being to the finals 3 of the last four years, they were able to capture the holy grail once again. The Devils would set an NHL playoff record with 12 victories on home ice. The Devils would finish off the Boston Bruins in 5 games and did the same with Tampa Bay in a triple-overtime thriller, thanks to Grant Marshall. Ottawa presented the toughest test, but the Devils prevailed thanks to Jeff Friesen and his late-game heroics.

The Devils met the Mighty Ducks in the Finals. Martin Brodeur would have three shutout victories in the Finals, which tied an NHL record. Rookie Mike Rupp would score the game-winning goal, and the Devils went on to defeat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in Game 7. 

The Second Stanley Cup

The New Jersey Devils celebrated the 20th anniversary this two seasons ago. What a whirlwind of a season. From Making trades while in a downswing which included Alexander Mogilny, Claude Lemieux, and Vladamir Malakhov, to firing head coach Robbie Ftorek with eight games remaining, the end of the year was a roller coaster. The Devils promoted Larry Robinson to take over behind the bench, and it proved to be the right move. Lou Lamoriello was desperate and did not want to see another early playoff exit. The Devils posted a similar recipe in order to win the Stanley Cup. They were road warriors as they went 10-2 away from Continental Airlines Arena.

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After sweeping the Panthers in round one with ease, the Devils went on to take on the star studded Toronto Maple Leafs. The Devils won the series in six games and held the Leafs to only six shots on net in that clinching game. After returning from a 3-1 deficit against the Flyers, the Devils got to take on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Dallas Stars. After a dump into the corner by Stevens, Elias sent a blind pass to the front of the net, where Arnott scored the goal. The Devils went on to defeat the Stars in six games.

The First Ever Stanley Cup

Stefan Matteau handed the Devils a suffering defeat and the Rangers marched on to the Stanley Cup Final. That is all you can remember from 1994. After suffering a brutal defeat at the hands of the New York Rangers the year before, you began to wonder if the Devils would reach the top of the hockey world. On June 24, 1995 the Devils would sweep the Detroit Red Wings, who had one of the best teams assembled. They stood on top of the hockey world.

The team had no business winning that series. They did and got to hoist the Stanley Cup on home ice in the Meadowlands. The Devils would post a 10-1 record away from home ice. Lemieux would be the playoff hero and win the Conn Smythe trophy.