As we get closer to the Devils’ home opener, I thought I would take a look at some of the theme nights that the team is going to be hosting at Prudential Center this season. As always, more information can be found at nhl.com/devils/tickets/theme-nights.
The first of the special games highlighted comes this Tuesday when the Devils take on the Ducks at Prudential Center at 7 PM. This is the home opener and will feature a Fan Fest in Championship Plaza and a red carpet arrival ceremony for the Devils players beginning at 4 PM. The Devils did this last season and it was very well received. Obviously, 4 PM on a weekday is hard for many people to attend, but kids, especially, like greeting the players and getting autographs, so hopefully there are a good amount of fans there to greet the Devils as they arrive for the home opener.
October 22 will see the Devils dedicate the Martin Brodeur statue before a game against the Minnesota Wild. The website says that the statue will be dedicated outside the Prudential Center, most likely in Championship Plaza. First 10,000 fans receive a Marty Brodeur “The Salute” lithograph. The game is at 7 PM.
The Devils will join the NHL in the annual “Hockey Fights Cancer” program on October 28 against the Chicago Blackhawks. The game will feature “a variety of pre-game, in-game and concourse activities throughout the evening to raise awareness and money for cancer research.” The Devils will likely wear their purple warmup jerseys for this game, with the “Hockey Fights Cancer” logo on it. These are usually then auctioned off during the game. Puck drop is 7:30 PM.
October 29 against Tampa Bay will see the Devils celebrate Halloween. There will be “trick-or-treating on the concourse, Prudential Center staff in costumes and a spooky theme throughout the game.” Fans can come in costume and the first 9,000 will receive Devils glow horns. Opening faceoff comes at 7 PM.
On November 12, the Devils will celebrate Military Appreciation against the Buffalo Sabres. Again, the team will likely wear their camo jerseys during warmups with them being auctioned off afterwards. Members of the military will be honored throughout the night. Game starts at 7 PM.
The Devils will celebrate Thanksgiving on November 25 against the Detroit Red Wings. This will be the night of the Devils’ annual coat drive – something which they have done for years – to help those in need. This game is a 7:30 PM start time.
The Devils host Pride Night on December 6 against the Vancouver Canucks as a way to reach out to Newark’s Gay Community. A good way to be inclusive and bring in a new demographic of fans here, as the Devils follow the lead of the New York Mets and celebrate a community that is often overlooked in pro sports. Game starts at 7 PM.
The Devils bring back the popular Star Wars Night against the St. Louis Blues on December 9 at 7:30 PM. There will be “characters on site, theme music, and special Star Wars Devils merchandise.” This was a big hit last season and I can see why they would want to do it again.
The Devils celebrate the holidays on December 22 against the Flyers at 7 PM during the “Season’s Greetings Holiday Game.” The first 10,000 fans will receive an Andy Greene bobblehead.
The team will host a New Year’s Eve Celebration on December 31 against the Washington Capitals at 1 PM. An earlier start means fans can enjoy the game and then go celebrate afterwards.
Now, the game that I, personally, am looking most forward to: Ring of Honor Night on January 6 against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7:30 PM. The Devils are going to be inducting the first Ring of Honor recipient in franchise history with a pregame ceremony. First 10,000 fans will receive a commemorative pin. Judging by the opponent, my first guess for induction would be Lou Lamoriello and Jacques Lemaire (who now also works for Toronto). This should be really interesting as a Ring of Honor should work like a Hall of Fame for a team. It should be guys who are just below the honor of having their number retired (or don’t have a number like Lou and Lemaire) but should be acknowledged anyway. I also see Chico Resch and John MacLean as rounding out a worthy first class for the Ring of Honor.
January 26 at 7 PM against the Capitals will be the first of two nights when the Devils will wear their retro green-and-red jerseys. This night is being billed as “Retro Night” and the Devils will celebrate the 1980’s. The first 9,000 fans receive Devils retro socks.
The first Kid’s Day will be February 12 against the San Jose Sharks at 12:30 PM. This will be the second bobblehead game of the year, as Taylor Hall will receive the honor for that game. The first 10,000 fans will get the Hall bobblehead.
February 14 is Valentine’s Day and the Devils will be celebrating versus the Colorado Avalanche at 7 PM.
St. Patrick’s Day comes a day early, as the Devils will wear their retro jerseys on March 16 against the Flyers at 7 PM. The first 9,000 fans will receive a green Devils cap.
Finally, the second Kid’s Day will be celebrated on March 19 against the Columbus Blue Jackets at 1 PM. The first 5,000 fans 12 and under will get a special giveaway.
There are some good things going on at Prudential Center this season. But as for me, like many fans I am sure, the Ring of Honor Night sounds the coolest. There are many possibilities here and ways for the Devils to honor their history. We will just have to wait until the game gets closer to find out more information on this.