Devils to Auction Broadway/Hayesy Jerseys for Charity

The Devils announced today that the warmup jerseys worn by them and the Chicago Blackhawks back in the Devils’ season opener on October 15, 2021 will be auctioned off for a good cause.

In a press release put out by the team’s PR department, the New Jersey Devils announced that they are “launching the “Broadway/Hayesy” Jersey Auction, in memory of late NHL alum Jimmy Hayes, former Devil and Kevin’s brother.” Kevin Hayes currently plays with the Philadelphia Flyers – tomorrow’s opponent for the Devils.

The jerseys being auctioned off include the Devils’ jerseys with “BROADWAY 10” on the back and the Blackhawks’ jerseys with “HAYESY 39” on the back. Jimmy Hayes played for both clubs. “Broadway” and “Hayesy” were his nicknames in NHL locker rooms and the “10” and “39” were the numbers he wore for the Devils and Blackhawks, respectively.

“Funds raised from the auction will benebit the Hayes family and charities of their choosing” according to the press release.

The press release notes that during the season opener at Prudential Center, New Jersey “hosted Hayes’ family members during the game and honored him with a moment of silence prior to puck drop.”

The auction will last from Monday, December 13, 2021 (beginning at 12 noon ET) to Monday, December 27, 2021. The press release notes that each jersey’s auction time will end staggered beginning at 5 PM ET on December 27.

Hayes, who passed away tragically this past summer, played 334 NHL games over a career that lasted seven years. The press release says that he notched 54 goals and 55 assists for 109 points in the NHL.

The Dorchester, Massachusetts-native was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2011, but never played a game for the franchise, as he was traved to the Blackhawks, where he began his career in 2011 and played to 2013. He also played for the Florida Panthers (2013 to 2015), the Boston Bruins (2015 to 2017) and finished his NHL career with the Devils in 2017-2018.

The Devils, as mentioned, will be traveling down the Turnpike to take on the Flyers tomorrow at 7 PM at the Wells Fargo Center. Jimmy’s brother, Kevin is currently a member of the Flyers.

In some other news pertaining to that game directly, the Devils have added another player to COVID Protocol.

Sam Kasan is reporting on the “Inside the Devils Blog” that defenseman Christian Jaros, who just made his return to the lineup following a stint on Injured Reserve, has been placed in COVID-19 Protocol. He joins forward Nico Hischier and defenseman Ryan Graves on the list.

According to Kasan, forward Yegor Sharangovich was also “held out of practice as a precaution. He is not currently in protocol.”

Devils head coach Lindy Ruff told Kasan “We’ve got two or three in (protocol) right now and hopefully it can end there. We don’t know what tomorrow brings either. We have a few guys that aren’t feeling well. Some of it is cold related. So, it’s hard to separate the two.”

And with those players now unavailable due to COVID Protocol, there opens up some opportunity for players down in Utica.

Kasan mentioned in a separate post on the Devils blog that New Jersey has recalled forward Marian Studenic and defenseman Kevin Bahl.

Studenic will be making his return to the NHL club, where he started the season after making the Devils out of training camp.

Kasan said that he got sent down to the Utica Comets and, in the 13 games he has played in the AHL since, he has five goals and five assists for ten points.

Kasan quoted Studenic as saying: “When I got sent down, I still had the mindset to keep going. Maybe I would have another opportunity. It’s here now so I’m happy about it.”

Kasan also pointed out that while with the Devils, he will likely play as “a penalty killer and fourth liner, though a fourth liner with a lot of speed.”

Contrast that with where he was with the Comets, as Kasan noted that in Utica “Studenic played a top-6 role for the Comets, which included power-play time and big minutes.”

The speed that Studenic brings should please his coach in New Jersey. Kasan quoted Ruff on Studenic as saying: “The one thing that we need is speed up front. It always helps our team, and he can bring that.”

As for Bahl, this will be the blue liner’s first call up to the NHL this season. He was assigned to Utica out of training camp.

Bahl admitted to Kasan that he did not have the best training camp.

“I don’t think in training camp I got to the level that I wanted to” he told the Devils writer.

Kasan said that he was sent to “Utica to work on many facets of his play.” Bahl “pointed to his positional play and retrieving pucks in the D zone as a few.”

Bahl continued to Kasan that the “biggest thing down there was development. I was watching video every day. It was a big factor for me to keep getting better. I’m definitely excited, it means a lot to get called up and it shows they have a lot of faith in me.”

Ruff told Kasan: “Kevin has got the range and the skating ability that a lot of guys don’t have. I felt he got off to a slow start at camp. He didn’t use his reach. I think his physicality could have been better. From what I’ve heard, that part of his game has really come around. It’s something he’s worked at.

“You have to give him credit. He’s worked hard at it. He’s going to get another opportunity,” Ruff concluded.

Kasan reminded readers that Bahl played in seven NHL games last season with the Devils. When he asked Bahl about that, Bahl said: “Last year was awesome. I got a feel for it. I know a bit more what to expect. I’m just excited to play.”

He also told Kasan, “The biggest thing is turning my preparation into confidence. How well I can prepare and how well I do things away from the rink. That will build my confidence being on the ice.”

Devils to Wear Black-Owned Business Logo on Helmets Beginning in December

The Devils announced today via a press release on their app and website that Prudential Financial has expanded their donation to the Devils’ Black-owned business helmet logo initiative.

The logo for the business will now be worn for 30 games instead of 13 games. This is an addition of 17 games, which will more than double Prudential’s initial support for the Black-owned business.

The company that was chosen as the recipient of the 2021-22 Devils Buy Black Program presented by Prudential Financial is Razu. Razu is “a networking and collaboration digital platform for musicians” based in Irvington, New Jersey.

According to the press release put out by the Devils, Razu is a “networking and collaboration service for artists in the music industry” and “provides music creators the collaborative tools to create, produce and enhance songs virtually on a digital, global platform.” It was founded in 2021 in Irvington and “boasts a collaborator and creator membership of hundreds from the greater New Jersey and New York region to Los Angeles to Lagos, Nigeria.”

Razu was chosen jointly by the Devils and Prudential to have their logo appear as a 3.75-inch by 1.2-inch sticker “on the Devils helmets for 30 road games that will include broadcast exposure on Devils broadcasts on MSG Networks, ESPN+/Hulu, and a range of significant Devils digital and social platforms. The exposure will take the Razu brand across North America in all cities the Devils visit during the 2021-22 National Hockey League season.”

Razu came out of a “pool of hundreds of Black-owned, New Jersey-based businesses from sectors that included media, technology, wellness, hospitality and more. Through the Devils Buy Black Program presented by Prudential Financial, Razu will receive expert marketing and business consultation, physical and digital advertising exposure, financial wellness counseling with a Prudential Financial advisor, local networking opportunities and more.”

Susan Somersille Johnson, Prudential Chief Marketing Officer said: “Big wins take creativity and courage, and Razu rose to the occasion! This is a gamechanger business moment as millions of sports fans see Razu’s logo emblazoned on the Devils helmets throughout this NHL season. This is just one example of how Prudential is working to elevate Black and underrepresented entrepreneurs in our hometown and across the nation.”

The press release quoted Devils President Jake Reynolds as saying: “We are so proud to stand alongside our partner at Prudential Financial in support of Black-owned, New Jersey-based businesses, as we use our powerful platform of sports and entertainment to generate palpable change locally and inspire positive change globally. Razu has the platform and potential to inspire and connect musicians and creators across the globe, and, alongside Prudential Financial, we look forward to providing them with the tools, exposure and momentum to do so.”

Finally, Razu CEO and Co-Founder Marc Saint-Ulysse said: “Thank you to Prudential and The [sic] New Jersey Devils for showcasing Razu. As a Black-owned start-up, we appreciate the opportunity that’s been given to us to highlight our innovative technology and the impact we will have on the music industry. The team at Razu is looking forward to partnering with the amazing talent of the New Jersey Devils throughout the season.”

A “Buy Black” circular sticker has appeared “on the back left side” of the Devils away helmets “since October 30” as a “sign of Prudential Financial and the Devils continuous support for the Devils Buy Black Program presented by Prudential and the cause-driven partnership.”

The Razu stickers will make their debut on the Devils away helmets on Saturday, December 11 as the Devils make their first appearance at the newly opened UBS Arena, home of the New York Islanders. The stickers will be worn for road games for, essentially, the remainder of the 2021-222 season through to the final game at the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, April 28, 2022.