A Few Random Devils News Bits

I hope everyone in the United States had a great 4th of July yesterday and any Canadians reading this had a nice Canada Day back on Wednesday!

I wanted to get some random things that were too short for their own posts rolled into one bigger news post, so here goes.

The Devils continued to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement when they announced this past Wednesday that they would be putting a BLM logo behind the nets on the ice surface of their practice rink. For now, it is only being done at the RWJBarnabas Hockey House – largely due to the fact that the Devils’ season at Prudential Center is over. We will see if they will be putting it on the Prudential Center ice surface for the 2020-21 season (should it be played) and beyond.

In a second news bite, Devils Insiders announced on Twitter, via the Twitter account Russian Prospects, that prospect “Nikita Popugaev has signed a tryout deal” with HC Dynamo Moscow of the KHL. Russian Prospects did say that apparently the Devils will retain the NHL rights to him until June 1, 2021.

This happens a lot with Russian players who opt to play at home in the KHL and it does do some good in giving them some seasoning before they eventually make their way to the NHL.

Nikita Gusev did something similar in that he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lighting, opted to stay in the KHL, and had his rights traded to the Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights ran into some cap trouble and ended up trading him to the Devils.

Similarly, Devils Insiders, in the same tweet, reported that Ludvig Larsson signed with Mora IK of the Swedish second tier pro league (the Allsvenskan). Devils Insiders mentioned that another Twitter user (Tracey Lake) had mentioned that neither players would be back with the Adirondack Thunder (the Devils’ ECHL affiliate).

In other Devils’ minor league affiliate news that I was not so quick on, the Binghamton Devils were approved for Phase 2 of reopening way back on June 1 according to their official website.

Their front offices were opened to help fans “via phone, email, and live chat.” As of that time – and I believe that they are still in this part of the phase of reopening – the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena remained closed to the general public.

On June 22, the team opened their offices to fans by appointment only. The visits to the third-floor offices for customers was one, through appointment only, two, required customers to wear a mask and, three, maintain social distancing. The team was still encouraging people to use live chat on their website, email or phone calls as a means of getting touch with the team should they have any questions, however.

And that wraps us up. Hopefully I am as caught up as I can be regarding news around the organization. The NHL teams that qualified for the play-in round/playoffs will be starting their next phase, which sees them open training camps. We should have something for you on that in the near future.

Potpourri of Devils News

So, it has been kind of a slow month so far in terms of news, but there were some things going on last week so we can talk about that here.

First, the MTV Video Music Awards were held at Prudential Center last Monday and two Devils players took part.

Blake Coleman was the NewJerseyDevils.com Red Carpet Host. He interviewed New York Jets player Brent Qvale, Lizzo, the cast of MTV show Floribama Shore, band CNCO, Diplo, Ice-T and PK Subban and Lindsey Vonn.

Now admittedly, I have no idea who most of those people are, save for Ice-T and, of course, Subban, but it was some good promotion for the team to get in on this. With the event taking place at Prudential Center, it got the Devils some notoriety. According to the Devils’ official blog, Coleman even tried to persuade some of the celebrities to become Devils fans.

Speaking of the VMAs and Subban, he was even more involved in the event. The VMAs had a strong New Jersey flavor being in Newark, as Chris Wescott reported for the Devils’ official blog. He said that Queen Latifah, Naughty by Nature, Redman, Wyclef Jean and Fetty Wap (all Jersey natives) performing. The Jonas Brothers, Halsey, John Travolta, Victor Cruz and the aforementioned Ice-T were also involved in the event. They all hail from the Garden State as well.

Subban was a presenter for the event and he and Vonn told the crowd that he is training hard, looking to bring the Stanley Cup back to New Jersey.

Surely, this is the kind of thing the team was looking for when they acquired PK. He brings crossover notoriety to the team and is as at ease in a setting like the VMAs as he is on the ice.

In other, more sports-related news, Martin Brodeur, in an interview with Amanda Stein of the Devils’ website, announced his new golf tournament, the MB30 Invitational. It will take place on September 3 at the Plainfield Country Club and will feature a lot of the Devils’ sponsors and other VIPs.

Marty, an avid golfer, has invited some former and current players including John Madden, who Marty said is a great golfer, Colin White, Jim McKenzie, Bobby Holik, Scott Gomez, Bobby Carpenter, Petr Sykora, Cory Schneider, Kyle Palmieri, Sami Vatanen and John Hynes. A total of 18 Devils past and present will be there, in addition to former New York Giant Michael Strahan and even a few PGA pros.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Devils Care Foundation to raise money. Devils Care helps New Jersey youth through education and health programs.

Marty told Stein that this will be one of the first events over the year to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 2000 Stanley Cup championship.

In one final note that is hockey related, former Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy has decided to call it quits, retiring from the NHL. He announced the retirement to the fans via Twitter this week. Congrats to Lovejoy on a fine NHL career and best of luck to whatever is next for him.