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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!

We Earned It

We have had a pretty crazy season. We picked up a great player in Kovalchuk, lost our star Parise to a knee injury, the return of Jaque Lemaire, saw Hedberg make incredible saves while Marty wasn’t looking to hot, had a terrible first half and are finishing it up on fire – but are missing the play offs for the first time since 1996! That’s a whole lot for a fan to handle. But I have to say, we handled it pretty well!

We never give up. We rocked our red, defended our boys and always knew that we had what it took to make a great team. We are all proud of the Devils and proud to be members of the Devils Army. We have a whole section, the NJ Devils Supporters Section, dedicated to those fans who like to be heard and are offering season tickets to join them at every game. We have even taken our fan community to another level with the launch of Mission Control and the Devils Army Generals earlier this year, bringing the fans in closer to the organization instead of leaving them on the concourse.

We are the best fans and the team knows it! They mention how great it is to hear us support them and how much it means to them while they’re on the ice. The Devils employees put together a LIPDUB in honor of us. The annual Fan Appreciation Day is coming up, landing on our last game of the season on April 10th and I think it is well deserved! In addition to the normal Fan Fest with music, food and games, Sunday the fans will have the chance to win great prizes and receive a team poster on their way out.

This is a great team to be a fan of. With 1,000 first time season ticket holders signing up for next season, it’s obvious that people can not get enough of Devils hockey! The Devils Army is growing and next year is our year.

The Rock

The Rock

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