The New Jersey Devils are dead; long live the New Jersey Angels! But before anyone panics about having to buy all new shirts, hats and jerseys, realize that this announcement was made yesterday: April 1.
The Devils had some fun with their fans on April Fools’ Day, unveiling an elaborate new logo, jersey and website all featuring the “Angels” branding.
Adam Henrique tweeted that the team would be playing next season as the Angels and the team even went so far as to put out a phony press release on the Angels’ site.
In this suspect release from the team found at NewJerseyAngelsHockey.com, Devils President Hugh Weber “announced today that the organization has submitted a name change application to the NHL for the 2015-16 Season.” Although they likely meant “2016-17” season, as the “name change” is supposed to be occurring next year. The site also encouraged fans to buy tickets to “see the New Jersey Devils for the last time April 5-9” with a link to buy tickets. So it worked as kind of a viral marketing scheme in addition to an April Fools’ joke.
On their bogus site, the team also unveiled logos, jerseys and merchandise (not for sale).
Although it was pretty obvious that this is a joke on the part of the Devils, a lot of minor league baseball teams, including the Lakewood BlueClaws, a South Atlantic League team playing right here in New Jersey, have done “what if” nights. During those promotions, teams will wear jerseys adorned with logos that were proposed for the team, but ultimately not selected.
I would not expect a major league NHL team to do this, especially since “Angels” was not one of the names proposed for the franchise back in 1982 when they settled on Devils as the team name.
As an April Fools’ Day joke, it was one of the more elaborate ones played out in sports in 2016. But it does get me thinking about what they could come up with on a “what if” night for the “Meadowlanders” or one of the other near choices….