Monthly Archives: September 2011

Best to Wear # 9 – Kirk Muller AND Zach Parise

You read it right. It’s a tie.

In the poll with most votes to date, both Zach Parise and Kirk Muller have been selected as the Best to Wear #9 for the New Jersey Devils.

I monitored this poll VERY closely and, I’ll be honest, I love how it went. There was strong competition and swapping between the two.  Some fans believed that Muller, who captained the team during their first playoff run, had proven more than young superstar, Zach Parise.

It’s fitting how the two players to win this both were left wings, one was captain, and fans hope the other becomes captain. It’s almost as if Parise is a reincarnation of Muller.

Below is some information on Kirk Muller:

Kirk MullerNUMBER:  9
HEIGHT: 6′ 0″
WEIGHT: 205
POSITION: Left Wing
SHOOTS: Left
BORN: February 8, 1966
BIRTHPLACE: Kingston, ON, Canada

Muller’s NHL career started when he was drafted second overall in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils. Who went first overall that year? Mario Lemieux.

His nickname to fans and players was “Captain Kirk,” named after the character popularized by William Shatner in the Star Trek franchise.

Despite being a fan favorite, and leading the New Jersey Devils to their first playoff appearance, the Devils were never able to get a serious Stanley Cup run. This led the organization to trade Muller and Roland Melanson to the Montreal Canadiens in return for Tom Chorske and Stephane Richer, two players who made an impact on the 1995 Stanley Cup Championship team.

Muller played another 15 seasons after being traded by the Devils with several clubs. He’s mostly known for his time with the Canadiens.

Currently, Muller is the head coach of the Nashville Predators’ AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals.

Here are some New Jersey Devils records that Muller holds:

*New Jersey Devils franchise record for points in a single game (6 on Oct. 29, 1986)
*New Jersey Devils franchise record for assists in a single game (5 on Mar. 25, 1987)
*New Jersey Devils franchise record for points by a center in a single season (94, 1987–88)

Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils
GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW S S%
556 185 335 520 -62 572 69 6 19 1,337 13.8%

I want to thank everyone who voted in this poll, and In Lou We Trust for letting people know about the poll on their blog. I also want to thank the New Jersey Devils for spreading word about the poll on Twitter as well.

Second Annual Devils Family BBQ and Fan Fest

Devils Family BBQ and Fan Fest 2011Classic barbecue food, music, games for the kids and a chance to chat with your favorite New Jersey Devils – I’d say that’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. This past weekend the Devils hosted their second annual Devils Family BBQ and Fan Fest at the Prudential Center. It’s one of the cool events season ticket holders get to be a part of and a great way to kick off the season.

Anxious fans lined up outside of The Rock waiting to get in and meet their favorite players. They opened up the main concourse of the Prudential Center and let the fans roam. Lunch was served in the Fire & Ice Lounges. If you were lucky you caught Zach Parise behind the counter suited up to serve with an apron and chef hat. Rumor has it that Ilya Kovalchuk was handing out cookies. Bryce Salvador was taking care of the sodas with Nick Palmieri and Andy Greene.

There was plenty for the younger kids to do between shooting pucks into inflatable nets, hanging out with NJ and dancing with the Devils Dancers. All the players were happy to take pictures, share stories and even play a few rounds of floor hockey with the kids (and some of the adult fans, too). Parise and David Steckel played a couple games of hockey, followed by another game around the corner with Jacob Josefson, Mattias Tedenby, Alexander Urbom and Henrik Tallinder – only a few men short of a Swedish National team. Dainius Zubrus and NJ were hanging around the inflatable goalie nets watching our youngest Devils Army members practicing their slap shots.

Lines formed for both our veteran players and new additions to the team. Cam Janssen and Adam Larsson were pretty popular, as were Martin Brodeur and Patrick Elias of course. Even Lou Lamoriello and our new coach, Peter DeBoer, made appearances on the concourse. Every where you looked you saw a Devil in their jersey. It was surreal to see them on the concourse and to be honest, kind of weird. You learn a few things about the guys being so close. Did you know that Janssen loves to dance in place? David Clarkson seems tough on the ice but his face lights up when you mention his little girl (who will not be a hockey player). Clarkson is also a huge Jets fan and has a helmet signed by the team. Tallinder is a bit of a goofball, he was caught sneaking into pictures with other players and teasing Tedenby and Josefson when they lost their hockey game. Oh, and Rod Pelley has no front teeth – but you’ve probably noticed that before.

It’s great getting a chance to talk to the players and see them off the ice. Everyone had a great time and made sure to wish their favorite guys good luck during the season. There was tons to do and lots to see. Check out more photos from the BBQ on the Devils Generals Flickr page. Let us know if you find your face!

Best to Wear – #9

It’s that time of the week again Devils Army, time to play your favorite game: “Best to Wear!”

Last week Dainius Zubrus pulled out a tight victory over Mike Peluso. This week, we will be taking a look at number nine.

This week should be a close one as well, as there are a couple of players who I believe are deserving of the title.

Best to Wear #8 – Dainius Zubrus

In what I consider a surprise turn of events, even though maybe it isn’t all that shocking, Dainius Zubrus is the lucky winner of “Best to Wear #8.”

It was a close battle between himself, and Mike Peluso. The voting was neck and neck as it came down the final stretch on Thursday, but Zubrus took the win by less than 20 votes. I personally voted for Mike Peluso. Every time I hear his name, I can’t help but think about one of the greatest lines in New Jersey Devils history, the Crash Line. Oh well, can’t win them all.

Tomorrow we will put up “Best to Wear #9.” I wonder how that will turn out.

New Jersey Devils Season Kickoff Party!

To celebrate the return to the ice of the New Jersey Devils for the start of the 2011-12 season, fans will be gathering at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Edison, NJ (for directions, click here) on Monday October 3rd at 7PM, for some food, drinks, and some Devils’ related fun.

Anthony’s has been kind enough to host us for our get-together, and will be showing some Devils’ videos/highlights on their TV’s (along with the Colts at Bucs Monday Night Football game, if that’s your thing).

Former Devils’ forward Jim Dowd will be making an appearance!

There will be drink specials (can anyone say $1.50 Peroni beers?) and Anthony’s will be letting us sample their spectacular wings!

We will also have some giveaways and some items to raffle off. Anthony’s will have some gift cards to give away.

Anthony’s is a great, family-friendly place, so feel free to bring everyone! It’s worth attending just for their amazing pizza.

You can use this link to print out a (free) ticket for the event. A ticket is not necessary, but anyone who presents the ticket will get a free entry into one of the raffle items.

Known for its high energy atmosphere and simple menu, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza (which has 29 locations in the northeast U.S. and Florida, including this one in Edison) uses 800-degree coal burning ovens to create a “well done” taste. Signature menu items include specialty pizza made with the freshest top-quality ingredients, coal-oven-roasted chicken wings topped with grilled onions and Italian-style salad. Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza’s food and service have continually been ranked “very good to excellent” by Zagat Survey, the distinguished dining and entertainment guide.

For more information, visit www.anthonyscoalfiredpizza.com, Facebook or Twitter.

Player Profile: Welcome Back, Bryce Salvador!

Bryce SalvadorNUMBER: 24
HEIGHT: 6′ 3″
WEIGHT: 215
SHOOTS: Left
BORN: Feb 11, 1976 (Age 35)
BIRTHPLACE: Brandon, MB, Canada

After missing all of last season with a concussion, sustained after a couple rough pre-season matches with the Flyers and Rangers last year, I am super excited to announce that Bryce Salvador is expected to take the ice in tonight’s first home pre-season game!

Our veteran defensemen was originally drafted in the sixth round by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 1994 entry draft. He would then play for the St. Louis Blues until 2008 when he would be traded to us in exchange for Cam Janssen (who we welcome back to New Jersey this year, but I digress!).

Since then, Salvador has been a strong presence on our defensive line. Aside from being fast and fearless when defending the net, Salvador isn’t shy when it comes to sticking up for his team mates in the event that a scrum breaks out.

I’ve had the chance to meet Salvador a few times and he is one of the nicest people you could ever encounter. At the Team BBQ last year, he was sporting a pretty large slash across his forehead (which he got in the game the night before). My mother, always concerned about our players, blurted out, “OH! That’s a big Boo-Boo you got! Are you OK?” My family, our season ticket representative (who was accompanying Salvador) and Salvador all broke out into laughter. My mom, realizing she just asked a professional hockey player about his “boo-boo” as if he were her son, stood there blushing as Salvador kindly told her he was doing just fine, and not to worry. Since then, each time we’ve seen him at an event, we’ve asked about his “boo-boo” and how his recovery has been going. He hadn’t fully recovered when we saw him at the player skate and my mother admonished him saying, “You told me your boo-boo wasn’t bad! But you haven’t played all season!” He again laughed and assured her he was doing well, while Zubrus laughed and teased him. Finally, we saw him again at the awards ceremony and got to have him sign the photos we took earlier in the season. The gash on his forehead was fully healed and he was a good sport about checking out our photos and laughing at the situation again.

Welcome Back SalvadorAnd so, it is with great enthusiasm that I welcome Bryce Salvador back to the ice. I’m looking forward to his finesse, speed and defensive expertise… just, please stay healthy. No more boo-boos! We fans missed you as much as your team mates did!

If you’ve met Salvador, please share your story!

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