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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Giving the Devil Its Due

For years the New Jersey Devils were critized by thier fans, the media and other teams in the NHL when "fans" weren't one or two on their priotiy list. "Win at any cost" was one through ten.

And with three Stanley Cups in nine years, you really couldn't blame them. But even as a perrenial powerhouse and winner, fans didn't flock to the Devils because of it.

But over the last few years, that has changed.

Under the leadership of Chairman and Managing Partner Jeff Vanderbeek, the Devils have become a more fan-friendly operation. The Prudential Center is a great arena, one which is continuously improving. It's also a great place to watch a hockey game from on-ice action to entertainment in the stands.

I was perusing their website today and I found this article. In case you didn't make the jump to the article, it was about two of their prospects getting into a fight at their prospect camp. Sometime when this happens, teams will try to act like it didn't happen -- especially if it happened without the media present (I don't know if that was or was not the case with the Devils fight today).

But the article on their website is an example that a franchise who once seemed isolated with thier fan base is becoming much more transparent with them. And if the Devils can combine winning the Stanley Cup with being fan-friendly, then they'll become a real ellite team in the NHL.

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