Author Archives: DougTownsend

New Jersey Devils Want Your Blood!

New Jersey Devils American Red Cross Blood Drive 2012

The Devils have partnered with the American Red Cross to bring up the 5th Annual New Devils American Red Cross Blood Drive! Coming to The Prudential Center on Saturday, March 31st, the blood drive is your chance to contribute to an on-going effort to prevent a possible blood shortage. From 6 AM to 1 PM, the American Red Cross will be at The Rock to accept blood donations.

As a “Thank You” to all that donate, everyone who registers will receive a Devils hat and an exclusive Devils t-shirt. In addition to that, donors will be selected at random for autographed prizes, including jerseys, sticks, and pucks.

As another added perk, all who register will be able to park, for free, in the VIP Parking Deck behind The Rock.

Personally, I wish to encourage everyone to register and donate. It’s a great opportunity to help out someone in need. Registering only takes a few minutes.

For more details, and to register, follow this link: http://www.redcrossblood.org/devils

Mr. 1,000: Patrik Elias will play his 1,000th NHL game

Patrik EliasTonight vs. the Florida Panthers, Patrik Elias will be playing his 1,000th NHL game.  Just another milestone to add to the already amazing season Elias has had so far.

In this season alone, Elias broke the Devils goal record (passing John Maclean with #348 on Dec. 17th) and broke the Devils record for power-play goals (Nov. 2nd with #93).

He will become one of three to play all of these 1,000 games with the Devils.  Those other two? Ken Daneyko and Martin Brodeur.  Another Devil also made his 1,000th NHL appearance this season.  It was Dainus Zubrus, who reached the 1,000 game milestone on November 16th when the Devils visited Buffalo.

Game #1 came in the 1995-1996 on December 7th vs. Toronto.  The Devils were the defending Stanley Cup Champions and Elias was called up from the AHL-affiliate Albany River Rats for one game.  He remained in Albany for the rest of that season, but returned for 17 games in the next. Now, he reflects on the 16 years since then: “Everybody will tell you time flies all of a sudden. I went through great times, some great seasons playing with great players, then you have seasons when they’re disappointing, when you have to battle through adversity. It’s all part of the journey. It makes you grow up. You figure out what life is all about as a hockey player and just as a regular person, too. It’s how you face the challenges throughout the career and I’m pretty happy that I’m still doing it. I’d like to think that I’m doing it well a thousand games later.”

For those not attending the game, you can catch it on MSG+.  Puck drops a few minutes after 7:00 pm.  If you’re there, make sure to get some cheers going.

LET’S GO DEVILS

New Jersey Welcomes Formula One in 2013

Formula 1 Racing Coming to New JerseyIt was officially announced yesterday that Formula 1 racing will be coming to the Garden State.  In June of 2013, the air will be filed with the sound of screeching tires and roaring engines as F1 racecars speed around the streets of Hudson County.  Specifically, the towns of Weehawkin and West New York will place host to the race.  Now, I know what you’re saying. “But Doug, there is no room there build a race track.”  Well, that’s been addressed.  Much like the world famous Monaco Grand Prix, the cars will race on the city streets.

The track combines the tight turns of a city track with a long straight offering a spectacular view of the city.  That view is not for the drivers though.  When driving at 200+ miles per hour, taking a glance at the city skyline is not exactly a safe idea.  Speaking of driving at 200+ MPH, it must be pretty fun to drive that fast past a 25 MPH sign.  I don’t know about you, but I’d get a good laugh out of that.

Oh, and did I mention this is a ten-year long agreement we are talking about?  That’s right.  Starting in June 2013, you can expect a race every summer for ten years.  The economic benefit is impossible to deny.  While a full economic impact study by Formula 1 is still in the works, the region can expect to see millions in economic development.  A quick quote from Governor Christie sums everything up: “The three-day event will bring very positive economic activity to the region, while giving fans of the sport in our region and around the world an exciting, new venue to experience Formula 1 racing. This is another example of how New Jersey remains a leader in hosting marquee national and international sporting and entertainment events like the Super Bowl, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, and the Ironman Triathlon in various parts of our state.”

I’m sold.  I think this is a great idea, and I may even splurge for tickets when the time comes.  We could use the economic boost.  And bringing more and more unique sporting events can only bring positive attention to the state.  What do you think?  Maybe now members the Devils Army will turn into racing fans.

Keeping the NBA in New Jersey

New Jersey Nets at Prudential Center, NewarkIf you Devils fans are anything like us Devils Army Generals (and I bet you are), you may not be huge NBA fans.  Or if you’re like me, you see the possible lack of an NBA season as nothing more than a great opportunity for the mass media to step up their hockey coverage.  That being said, I think few can deny that our Great State of New Jersey could benefit from having an NBA team.  The economic benefit is a great boast, and who doesn’t want another team to bring a championship to the state?  With the NJ Nets leaving Newark when their new arena is completed, that would leave us with one major league team to call our own.

That being said, basketball star Shaquille O’Neal (you may have heard of him) is looking to bring basketball to Newark.  Shaq was actually born in 1970′s Newark, so needless to say he has an emotional connection to the city that many of us have come to call our second home.  Shaq recently had a chat with the folks behind The New York Times NBA blog, Off The Dribble.  It’s a small portion of a much bigger interview, but here are the basics: Shaq knows that Newark can support an NBA team, and he wants to be one of the guys to bring it there. Knowing how excited Mayor Booker was about having the NCAA Basketball Tournament in Newark this past season, I bet he would be interested in this as well.

Personally, I’m all in.  I love New Jersey and traveling into Newark for Devils games more and more recently has shown me a lot of the city.  I want to see Newark be the best it can be, and I feel that having an NBA that’s there to stay could be a huge benefit.  It would also be pretty cool to have the best arena in the NHL become the best arena in the NBA.  Tell us what you think.  Do you want to see pro basketball back in Newark ASAP, or do you think three teams in one market is asking too much.  Comment away!

Special thanks and credit to The New York Times and Off The Dribble writer Joe Brescia for posting the interview.

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