History of the New Jersey Devils

On June 30, 1982 the Colorado Rockies of the NHL were renamed the New Jersey Devils, finalizing the sale of the team to the New Jersey area. The team was named after an old folk tale, preaching that a creature, named the New Jersey Devil, inhabited South Jersey. Their first couple of seasons were some of the worst ever seen in the NHL, even prompting Wayne Gretzky to publicly comment on the franchise, calling them a “Mickey Mouse organization”. Things would begin to change in 1987 when the team would hire Lou Lamoriello as team president, who would appoint himself to general manager of the team despite no prior experience in the sport. He silenced all critics however, leading the Devils to their first winning season and playoff berth in 1988, where they would advance to the conference finals.

Their next few seasons brought more playoff berths but little success in the postseason failing to advance past the first round, as Lamoriello made multiple coaching changes, before finally landing on Jacques Lemaire before the 1993 season. That team was bolstered by some of the most famous Devils of all time, including Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer, Ken Daneyko, Bobby Holik, Claude Lemieux, and Martin Brodeur (who was in his rookie season. New Jersey would rebound, winning their first Stanley Cup in the strike-shortened season of 1995. The Devils would go on to win the Stanley Cup in 2000 over the Dallas Stars, led by new stars Jason Arnott and Scott Stevens. The Devils rebounded from a 2001 Stanley Cups Finals defeat by winning the 2003 Stanley Cup over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

While the team has not won the Cup since 2003, they continue to be one of the most consistent playoff contenders in all of pro sports. In 2007 New Jersey moved to Newark into the newly constructed Prudential Center, known as “The Rock”. They made quite a splash in their early seasons at their new arena, signing prized free agent Ilya Kovalchuk to a 15-year deal. Their most recent Stanley Cup Finals appearance came in 2012, falling to the Los Angeles Kings in six games.