The NHL regular season has reached its final day. Teams have used their final home games to show appreciation to the fans who filled the arenas for the past 82 games. Might as well end the season on a high note, whether they’re headed to the playoffs or not.
The New Jersey Devils held their fan appreciation night Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres. It was a big game for New Jersey that saw them both clinch home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs as well as saw superstar Jack Hughes break the franchise record for points in a single season with 97.
That record previously belonged to Patrik Elias, the two-time Cup champion who has his jersey retired by the team and holds most other offensive records. The franchise’s top prospect, Jack’s brother Luke, made his NHL debut as well.
The Devils’ “fan appreciation” jerseys were a big hit this week.
Like most promotional night games, Tuesday’s game featured special jerseys for warmups. The Devils wore special “fan appreciation” jerseys and quite honestly knocked them out of the park.
The jerseys were designed by Twitter user, Devils fanatic, and graphic designer Backhadned Devil (@BackhandedDevil). All of New Jersey’s promotional jerseys from this season were fan designed, so this kept up with the season-long theme.
The jersey’s primary color is the familiar Devils red. Gone are the red shoulder pads and stripes on the sleeve and lower part of the jersey (the lower strip is not featured on the current Adidas jerseys, but was on the previous Reebok design).
The font used for player names and numbers is also a bit different and looks similar to the font used on recent Washington Capitals reverse retro jerseys.
Also gone is the familiar interlocking “NJ” logo from the front of the jersey. Replaced with it is the outline of the great Garden State also in Devils red. Inside the New Jersey outline are references to memorable parts of franchise history.
For example, we can spot the famous Dave Puddy quote from Seinfeld “Gotta support the team” as well as the familiar chant “Marty’s Better”. Behind the state outline, but also in the middle logo, are mini versions of that familiar Devils interlocking “NJ” logo.
The Devils are also celebrating their 40th anniversary of playing in New Jersey, and this jersey makes several references to their history.
One of the other references on the New Jersey outline says “parking lot parades”. That’s a reference to the Stanley Cup championship celebrations that took place in the surrounding Meadowlands parking lot around the team’s old arena.
Speaking of home arenas, both the Prudential Center and the team’s former home (known through the years as Brendan Byrne Arena, Continental Airlines Arena, and finally Izod Center) are featured on the left shoulder patch.
The right shoulder patch is the Devils’ 40th-anniversary logo they’ve used all season.
Devils fans have long wanted a black jersey with the same Devils logo, but this is the jersey we never knew we needed. The jerseys were autographed and are currently up for auction. Some have already reached $1000 in bids.
At one point, Luke Hughes‘s jersey from his NHL debut was the most popular one with 39 bids and an asking price of $4000.
The Devils wore their “Jersey” jerseys for the remainder of the game. These red jerseys do a much better job of representing the fan base and New Jersey than the Devils’ current alternate. If I was the team, I’d replace the “Jersey” jerseys with these immediately.
If they were sold in the team store, Harris and Blitzer (the team’s owners) would make enough in sales to pay for a Timo Meier contract extension. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go take out a second mortgage on my house for playoff tickets and to try to buy one of these.