Author Archives: SpeakoftheDevs

A Closer Look at The Newest Devil: Matt D’Agostini

The Newest Devil

As not only a New Jersey Devils fan, but also a Devils blogger, I usually don’t react too quickly to the news of acquiring a new player. I like to look at numbers, and get some feedback. However, when I heard that the Devils had acquired Matt D’Agostini, I was pretty excited even before getting some feedback.

I’ve heard the name Matt D’Agostini for a while now, not because he’s exactly a high-scoring sniper, but there are certain guys on some teams that stand out.  Guys that fans seem to love when they watch them play every game, even if they’re not lighting the lamp that often.

Of course, when a trade is made, one of the first things people are going to look at are the numbers. D’Agostini’s numbers, at least this season, are not that impressive.

However, let me take you back just to just short time ago… to the time when Steve Bernier was signed after being invited to camp.

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State Of The Devils Army Generals – One Year

Devils Army in the Digital ZoneMr. Vanderbeek, Mr. Lamoriello, Mr. Krezwick, members of the third floor, my fellow Generals.

Today, I have the honor (which I gave myself) of reporting to you on the State of the Generals.

It’s hard to believe that the Devils Generals program has been around for over a year now. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were all in a room, not quite sure of what we were doing there or what to expect from the awesome opportunity that was being given to us. As the Generals program was something no other sports franchise had done, we were all new to this. However, every person in that room was excited.

It was no surprise (okay, maybe it was a bit surprising) that the team, after a 9-22-5 start to last season, began a 22-5 run on the day our Generals Twitter account was created and finished the season 27-13. They were as excited about this as we were!

From the launch of Mission Control on February 16th of last year, right up to our latest giveaway on Twitter and everything we have done in between, it has all been a tremendous, and sometimes surprising, success.

My fellow Devils fans, I blog before you today to report that the state of our program is strong.

I’d like to briefly review our first year and then talk a little bit about what can be expected from us going forward.

As with any great, original idea, there have been some bumps in the road during our first year. We don’t always see eye to eye on every issue. We have seen some people go, and there have been some new people added.

What we all agree on is that we are all fans, and we want to be the voice of other fans who can’t be in Mission Control with us. We all bring the voice of the fan, as a whole, to the team.

Make no mistake, if you ever bring an idea to us, whether it’s through Twitter, Facebook, this blog, or in person, it will be brought to the team. We are always listening and are always looking for new ways to improve the fan experience.

Our first successful project was the start of the #Devils1stGoal guesses on Twitter (something I can proudly say I started… with a little help from the Islanders and their first goal guess idea).

Through the first goal guess contest on Twitter, we have gone from a handful of guesses a game to over 200 guesses for each game. The correct guessers have gone from receiving shoutouts, to getting some cool prizes, including game tickets!

We’ve sent prizes out to all corners of the US. It’s only a matter of time before we send out  prizes to some members of the Devils Army overseas, fans that interact with us on a daily basis.

We have put together and hosted quite a few viewing parties throughout New Jersey during our first year, the latest one being at Simko’s Grill in Brielle last weekend. They have all been quite successful, with each one growing as we’ve gone along. Special guests have included Ken Daneyko, Jim Dowd, Grant Marshall and others.

We’ve had some great giveaways at these events and as they grow, so to will the giveaways, prizes, and guests.

Our next viewing party will take place on February 7th at Texas-Arizona in Hoboken. We then return to Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Edison on February 27th for our second viewing party at that location this season.

These viewing parties are only successful if fans attend and enjoy them. Everyone is welcome to attend any of the viewing parties and, as always, is free to suggest a location and bring ideas and suggestions to us.

This blog has grown tremendously since our first post. You can find game previews, recaps, player profiles, and stories on breaking news. We have conducted interviews with WFAN statistician JohnCarl Ziegler, the Zam Crew, the Diablos 122, Ken Daneyko and others. Oh, I almost forgot… there was also the time General Chrissy Baptista got to interview Zach Parise.

Our Devils Generals Facebook page has also grown quickly, with 618 likes as of today.

We have set up Satellite Mission Control at the Digital Zone behind section 17 at The Rock. At every home game, you can find a few of the Generals manning the Twitter and Facebook accounts from there. Anyone is welcome to come and see what we do at any time.

During our first year, we have been written about in ESPN, Huffington Post, ClickZ, Simply Zesty, NY Times, USA Today and many others. A recent article in the Sports Business Journal highlighted how Mission Control has brought in a new kind of revenue for the team.

Mission Control was also selected as a finalist for the PRWeek “Arts, Entertainment & Media Campaign of the Year” award.

Now, what we have planned going forward.

Besides our planned and yet-to-be-planned viewing parties (we’ll be setting up playoff ones, of course), our next big event is our road trip to Long Island. This will be the first time the Generals get a group of the Devils Army together for a road game. If it’s as successful as we think it will be (there are only a few tickets left!), then others will definitely be planned.

We have some other exclusive interviews lined up. As our JohnCarl Ziegler and Zam Crew interviews have shown, we’ll be bringing you some things you’re not likely to find anywhere else. We enjoy giving you a look at some of the people who may be overlooked, but make game day a great experience.

We will also be at the AHL All-Star weekend for some updates!

Being at the AHL All-Star game, along with bringing some of our viewing parties to south Jersey, are some of the ways the Generals are bringing an awareness to everything our state, along with our hockey team, has to offer.

The Generals come from all over the state (and some from out-of-state). While we are all New Jersey Devils fans and this program concentrates on the team and what we can do to bring all of the fans closer together, we’re also committed to highlighting the great things the organization does throughout New Jersey.

You’ll find us talking about other events at Prudential Center. You’ll probably also find us posting about events that we feel are important to the city of Newark and the State of New Jersey.

We look forward to many more years of interacting with the best fans in the world and, more importantly, we look forward to hearing from you as to what we can do to make things even better!

LET’S GO DEVILS!

Devils Generals Fantasy Hockey League

With the start of the season upon us, some of the Generals decided it was time to prove which one would be best at giving Lou Lamoriello a run for his money as best GM in hockey. Since there weren’t 20 teams willing to let a bunch of random people take over General Manager duties, we decided to start a fantasy hockey league instead.

On Sunday, September 25th, the Generals conducted their draft. There was already some trash-talking during the draft and that is sure to continue as the season gets under way.

The league consists of 20 teams, with 16 starters (3 C, 3 LW, 3 RW, 5 D, 2G) per team. There are six bench players per team.

Each week teams will go head-to-head against each other. There are four divisions – the Brodeur, Stevens, Daneyko and Niedermayer divisions – and the four division winners plus four wild-card teams will make the playoffs. Playoffs take place during the last three weeks of the season.

There were quite a few surprises during the draft (Hedberg going in the 2nd round, 28th overall… a full round before Brodeur) and, of course, Devils players were taken quickly. Adam Henrique was taken before Rick Nash, Patrick Sharp, Matt Duchene, John Tavares, Danny Briere and 388 other players.

Overall, every team seems to have its strengths and weaknesses. Some teams should rack up points in the offensive categories (G, A, +/-, PIM, PP Points, SH Points, SOG, Faceoff Wins, Hits, Blocked Shots), while others should dominate the goalie categories (W, GAA, Saves, S%, SO).

Below is a list of all the teams and their rosters. You can comment below to let us know who you feel will win it all. Who knows… the supporters of the winning team may be rewarded at the end of the season!

You can also follow the generals involved on Twitter, as trash-talking on there should escalate as the wins and losses pile up.

To view the standings and what division each team is in, go to the league page here:
http://hockey.fantasysports.yahoo.com/league/devilsgenerals

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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.

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Tribute – Championship Plaza

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A few of the Generals were in attendance last night at the tribute at Championship Plaza for the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team.

Below you will find a post written by General Carlos, originally posted on SpeakingoftheDevils.com.

It includes pictures and a real-time account of what was going on at the memorial.

The tribute at Championship Plaza showed, once again, that hockey fans stand united as a family.

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- You can see the photos I took at the memorial here.

- I spoke to Vlad, who was wearing a Lokomotiv Yaroslavl jersey. It was an Anton But jersey (you can see it in the photo set). Anton But played for Lokomotiv until the ’05-’06 season. He is currently on Metallurg Magnitogorsk’s roster.

Anton But was the New Jersey Devils’ 5th round pick in the 1998 NHL Draft.

Vlad told me that Lokomotiv was his hometown team. He had just recently moved to the area from Arizona, heard about the memorial being planned, and decided to come. It was the first time he’d been to The Rock.

- There were hockey fans here tonight. A lot of different teams were represented, but they were all hockey fans. Everyone was here to pay tribute to members of their hockey family.

- There were about 40 people here at one point. I’d guess a total of about 120-130 people stopped by at some point throughout the evening.

- The Devils are going to attempt to set up an area with the items that were left at Championship Plaza. They are also going to work on a digital memorial.

- You can light a virtual candle for the Lokomotiv team by clicking here.

- About three dozen people here now. Some speaking about their memories of the players, specifically ex-Devil Vasyunov.

- It’s 5:02 pm and there are about 20 people here already. The hockey player statue has quite a few items placed at his stick. (pictures will be posted here later. You can see them on my Twitter feed now)

I will be in Newark for the tribute to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl set up by fans at Championship Plaza.

Follow along here for live updates, and you can also follow along on Twitter by searching the #CPLokomotiv hashtag, following me on Twitter, and following the Devils Generals.

Helping A Friend – The Hockey Community Sticks Together

As most of you know, Hurricane Irene swept through most of the east coast and left a path of destruction this past weekend.

While most of you reading this may not have been directly affected, or maybe had to deal with a flooded basement or a longer trip to work because of a downed tree or a flooded road, others weren’t so lucky.

A friend of mine, a fellow blogger, a hockey fan, and an overall good person was one of those people.

Late Sunday night, she tweeted: “House is under water. Going to lose it all. Devastated.”

She was up to her neck in water as she pushed her dog in a kayak to get to safety. She would eventually lose the kayak, too. She had to sleep in her car. I’m not sure where she is going from there.

I won’t post her name or Twitter ID (she’s protected anyway, so you can’t see anything) because, really, that’s not important.

What is important is what I’ve seen in the past from the hockey community. No matter what team you’re a fan of, no matter what coast you’re on, hockey fans stick together. They are always willing to help each other.

I saw it with the Nashville Floods. I’ve seen it on more personal levels, and I’d love to see it again.

We are setting up a few events to collect donations, clothing, and anything else she (and her pup) may need.

If you’d like to help in any way, please email me, or contact me on Twitter or Facebook.

I will be updating this post with any other links to events we are working on or ways you can help.

Thank you!

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