Devils to Present Virtual “Face-Off Fest”

The Devils today announced a virtual fan fest called “Face-Off Fest.” It will be presented over two days (January 9 and 10) and will feature several virtual activities and purchasing opportunities to benefit Devils charities.

The event will run from Saturday, January 9 from 7:45 PM ET To 9:45 PM ET and on Sunday, January 10 from 6:30 PM ET. The event will stream from NewJesrseyDevils.com/FaceOff.

Season ticket members will get exclusive access to an interview with Travis Zajac to be held on Saturday from 7:30 PM to 7:45 PM.

The press release put out by the Devils says that “to attend the virtual Face-Off Fest, Presented by Enterprise, fans can go to NewJerseyDevils.com/FaceOff and follow coverage across Devils social channels @NJDevils and us the tag #DevilsFaceOffFest.

On Saturday, following the season ticket member-only interview with Travis Zajac, all fans will be able to share interviews and experiences with PK Subban, Nico Hischier and more according to the press release.

The entire event will be hosted by Matt Loughlin, radio voice of the Devils.

Purchases may be made of t-shirts designed by Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes with these Devils-inspired designs being sold at the above website. Also up for purchase are life-sized personalized cardboard cut-outs that will sit in section 133 of the Prudential Center with mascot NJ Devil.

The prices for these are $49.95 for Black & Red Members (season ticket holders) and $64.95 for non-season ticket members. Proceeds will benefit the newly created Devils Youth Foundation. To purchase a cutout and upload a photo to be used, please visit NewJerseyDevils.com/Cutouts. Please note that you need ot get everything in by January 17 (photos, payment, etc.) to be in the stands for the January 28 home game.

This initiative is great, the New York Mets and many other Major League Baseball teams did this during baseball season and it was great. It is a really good move by the Devils to get their fans engaged and also raise money for a good cause at the same time.

Some of the other highlights include being able ot bid on five current player jerseys as well as custom player paintings by Devils PA announcer Kevin Clark. These will be up for bid on January 11.

In addition, between the 18th and 24th, the Devils will auction off one-on-one virtual experiences. These include: making pizza with Kyle Palmieri with the winning bidder and up to seven of their friends. Fans who win will be sent pizza making kits and will spend an hour-long session making pizza with Palms.

Fans can also bid on an opportunity to have a 45-minute chat with Devils legend Ken Daneyko with up to five of their friends. They will also be sent cigars from Jiminez Tobacco, a custom humidor, cutter and zippo lighter. The winning bidders will smoke cigars while talking to Dano.

In other, less cancer-inducing activities, a winning fan and three of their guests will win an autographed Patrik Elias jersey. They will also get to watch (virtually) a period of a Devils game with Patty. In addition, they will receive tickets to a future, to be determined, Devils game to sit in Patty’s personal seats at The Rock.

There is also a chance to win an opportunity to play NHL21 against Jack Hughes, Ty Smith and NJ Devil with up to five of the winner’s friends. This will be a 45 minute gaming session.

Finally, fans can bid on “five Alumni-signed Devils Reverse Retro jerseys.”

As for the Face-Off Fest itself, it will begin with a scrimmage on Sunday at 6:30 PM. Here, Matt Loughlin and Chico Resch will call a scrimmage from the main Prudential Center rink with an exclusive coach message and an interactive intermission with games and analysis.

When the event opens to the general public, there will be a Rapid Fire-style Q&A with the new players acquired this season. These players will include Dmitri Kulikov, Andreas Johnsson and Ryan Murray.

There will be a “Generation to Generation” segment with Jack Hughes and Chico Resch.

A Teammate Battle where PK Subban and Hishcier will take on Nathan Bastian and Brett Seney in an as-yet-to-be-determined challenge.

More Rapid Fire, this time with the “Young Guns”: Merkley, Michael McLeod and Smith.

A kids only press conference featuring goalie Mackenzie Blackwood.

Surprise appearances by Daneyko and former Devils defenseman Colin White.

A “Hockey Hounds” segment with Will Butcher, Palmieri, Connor Carrick and their wives and dogs.

A Zamboni Tug of War.

A Q&A with defenseman Damon Severson.

And finally, post show dueling pianos.

It should be a fun set of events – albeit virtually. I have been saying for years that I wished the Devils would do something like the Blackhawks do with their fan fest. Hopefully, with interest, this kicks off something a lot bigger!

Devils to Become First NHL Team with Advertisement on Helmets

The Devils today announced that they will have ad stickers placed on the players’ helmets for the 2020-21 season. They will be the first National Hockey League team to wear in-game ads during the regular season.

The ads in question are for Prudential Financial, who also own the naming rights to the team’s home arena and have done so since the building opened in 2007. Prudential Financial is headquartered in Newark.

In addition to this, the press release says that the Devils and Prudential will “initiate a new hockey helmet donation program providing new, Devils and Prudential co-branded helmets to diverse youth hockey players in New Jersey.”

Each side made comments about how this benefits both sides (and it does – especially for the Devils and their owners, who are seeing revenue down without being able to operate fully and with fans in the stands) and how both sides are committed to New Jersey.

While that may be true, we are looking at this from a fan’s perspective here. Did we really want the Devils to be the team to open Pandora’s Box and introduce ads onto NHL uniforms?

While the helmet deal by itself is nothing to panic about – it’s just the helmets, should we really worry about that? – you know that it is not going to stop there. I am not saying that in ten or fifteen years, the NHL is going to look like a European league with ads everywhere, but it will look different.

And we will get used to it.

Remember, when teams first began to put ads on the dasher boards, some fans (back in the mid/late ‘80s) took umbrage. Now flash forward to 2020-21. How often do you even notice the ads on the boards? Truth be told, things would look weird with naked boards in a modern arena.

As I mentioned, this is nothing to panic about yet. It’s just stickers on helmets. (Although considering the amount of Devils fans who were upset with the change over from the “DEVILS” wordmark to the logo sticker on the helmets a few years ago, there may well be some need to batten down the hatches).

We will, however, have to keep a keen eye on this. Major League Baseball is about to allow ads on jerseys and batting helmets. The NBA already allows ads on jerseys in-game. The American Hockey League has ads on jerseys and helmets in-game. Even the NHL allows ads on practice jerseys. We know this is a slippery slope and I fear the inevitable.

But time will move on, as new fans are created, they will be 100-percent used to seeing ads on NHL jerseys. And we will get used to it too. Soon a player will look naked without an ad on his uniform somewhere.