HISTORY OF THE NEW JERSEY DEVILS
The New Jersey Devils are a professional ice hockey team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The club was founded as the Kansas City Scouts in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1974. The Scouts moved to Denver, Colorado in 1976 and became the Colorado Rockies. In 1982, they moved to East Rutherford, New Jersey and took their current name. For their first 25 seasons in New Jersey, the Devils were based at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford and played their home games at Brendan Byrne Arena (later renamed to Continental Airlines Arena). Beginning with the 2007–08 season, the Devils relocated to Newark and now play their home games at the Prudential Center.
The franchise was poor to mediocre in the eight years before moving to New Jersey, a pattern that continued during the first five years in New Jersey as they failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs and never finished higher than fifth in their division. Their fortunes began to turn around following the hiring of president and general manager Lou Lamoriello in 1987. Under Lamoriello’s stewardship, the Devils made the playoffs all but three times between 1988 and 2012, including 13 berths in a row from 1997 to 2010, and finished with a winning record every season from 1992–93 to 2009–10. They have won the Atlantic Division regular season title nine times, most recently in 2009–10, before transferring to the newly created Metropolitan Division as part of the NHL’s realignment in 2013. The Devils have reached the Stanley Cup Finals five times, winning in 1994–95, 1999–00 and 2002–03. The Devils were known for their defense-first approach throughout their years of Cup contention, but have since moved towards a more offensive style.
The Devils have a rivalry with their cross-Hudson River neighbor, the New York Rangers, as well as a rivalry with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Devils are one of three NHL teams in the New York metropolitan area; the other two teams are the New York Islanders and New York Rangers. The franchise is the only major league team in any sport that explicitly identifies itself as a New Jersey team.