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30th Anniversary: McMullen Still Most Important


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#1 Legion15

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 09:22 AM

nj.com story

“He definitely liked hockey, but Gov. (Brendan) Byrne and Gov. (Thomas) Kean had been networking to get a team for the new Meadowlands arena,” recalled Peter McMullen, the late owner’s 52-year-old son and the Devils’ current executive vice president of operations.

“The Nets moved there in ’81, but there was an occupancy open. It was a real estate thing for the governors trying to fill the rink with two teams. I think he took that as a challenge.”

In the 18 years McMullen owned the team before selling to YankeeNets in 2000, the Devils won two Stanley Cups. He faced financial difficulties, losing approximately $9 million in the first five seasons. But McMullen hired Lou Lamoriello as team president, fought the NHL when he felt league executives disrespected the team, and built the Devils into an elite franchise by supporting and financing his GM without turning into a meddlesome owner like so many others in pro sports.

For those reasons, he remains the most important person in the Devils’ 30-year history.


Also there's this...

In 1982, New Jersey businessman John McMullen bought the Colorado Rockies and moved them to East Rutherford.

Here, they became the DEVILS

Thirty years and three Stanley Cups later, we examine the team’s dominant figures

Devils' 30 most dominant figures over the past 30 years

Edited by Legion15, 11 March 2012 - 09:39 AM.

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#2 Colin226

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 10:25 AM

Saw this in my morning Ledger.. Great article!!
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#3 Steven M.

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 11:40 AM

Great article... Loved the blurb about Lou, haha.
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#4 DevsMan84

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 01:14 PM

I guess it is that time of the year again for another fluff piece on Scrooge McMullen.

If it wasnt for wirtz and Ballard, he would have been known as the cheapest owner in the NHL who could not care less about the fan experience.

Yes we won two championships under his ownership but those were the creation of Lou who also happened to be as cheap as him.

Remember folks, it was McMullen and not bettman who was a heartbeat away from moving the team to Nashville. Whatever bullsh!t he spew out then or his family today about how much they love NJ and having hockey here goes out the window like any business person for the all mighty dollar.
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#5 95Crash

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 05:03 PM

Nice article.

I am forever thankful for Dr. John McMullen for buying the team, moving it to New Jersey and not being afraid to name it the "New Jersey" Devils. Was he a perfect owner? No, far from it. Who knows how much money he lost on this team till he sold it. But once he did sell it, he publicly stated that he regretted it.

I didn't know him personally, but I do remember how he stuck by Ken Daneyko, "Mr. Devil" himself, during some tough personal times. Someone should ask him what he thought of Dr. McMullen.

Edited by 95Crash, 11 March 2012 - 05:04 PM.

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#6 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:20 PM

Let's face it, neither McMullen nor Lamoriello are saints. They can definitely come off as cold, miserly, humorless penny-pinchers, and I agree that there were definitely times where it didn't feel like they cared much about their fanbase. But both parties could also show incredible loyalty once their respect was earned...Daneyko is a great case-in-point. And we saw that the Devils WOULD open up the vaults for those they deemed worthy.

Vanderbeek was refreshing, in that he brought a warmth to the organization that it never really had before he bought the team...just hope he can hang onto it.
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THE NHL MUST LOVE THE DEVILS - from who else? A RANGER fan!
[Mark Messier]: A big, bald attention whore with a stupid Easter Island-lookin face. - from who else? DaneykoIsGod!

Even when Marty comes back maybe Larry should put Clemmensen to be on the goal during the shootouts.
Can the coach do that ? Switch the goalies 5 seconds to go in overtime?
- Most priceless quote ever posted on a message board.

Martin Brodeur: THE MOST ALL-TIME WINS!, 12 straight seasons of 30+ wins, 3 Stanley Cups, 4 Vezina Trophies, and zero respect from too many so-called Devils "fans" who are either too young or too bandwagon to remember the much darker days of Sean Burke, Craig Billington, Bob Sauve, Alain Chevrier, and the talented but overwhelmed Chico Resch, among many others.

It's easy to support a great player when he's playing at his very best. It takes a true fan to support that same player during those rare moments and stretches when he's not. Babe Ruth went 0-4 some games, and sometimes Wayne Gretzky was held pointless. There may be such a thing as greatness, but no such thing as absolute perfection every single night.

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#7 Chuck the Duck

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 12:56 PM

Let's face it, neither McMullen nor Lamoriello are saints. They can definitely come off as cold, miserly, humorless penny-pinchers, and I agree that there were definitely times where it didn't feel like they cared much about their fanbase. But both parties could also show incredible loyalty once their respect was earned...Daneyko is a great case-in-point. And we saw that the Devils WOULD open up the vaults for those they deemed worthy.

Vanderbeek was refreshing, in that he brought a warmth to the organization that it never really had before he bought the team...just hope he can hang onto it.


I couldn't agree more on all counts.
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#8 Legion15

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:08 PM

yeah, let's hope JVB isn't looking for an out instead of just looking for financing for the team...he seems like a decent guy, and at times does actually seem to care about the team, not just the business side
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#9 Colin226

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:14 PM

yeah, let's hope JVB isn't looking for an out instead of just looking for financing for the team...he seems like a decent guy, and at times does actually seem to care about the team, not just the business side


Jeff is as much a fan as he can be given that the team doesn't make much money to support extra spending.. I see we are still fairly spoiled
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#10 eldon

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 02:41 PM

Yea, we can call McMullen names for almost moving the team. But we can also be thankful he moved here in the first place.
And I am. And I am grateful he 'found' Lou when and where he did and for the right reasons, not being connected to the NHL or any other local team previously.
I agree with him & Lou being 1-2.
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#11 DaneykoIsGod

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:14 PM

I would still like to see McMullen honored somewhere in or around the arena. It doesn't have to be anything as crazy as what the Steelers have for the Chief, but something should be done for the man who brought the team here IMO.
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#12 DevsMan84

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 04:05 PM

I would still like to see McMullen honored somewhere in or around the arena. It doesn't have to be anything as crazy as what the Steelers have for the Chief, but something should be done for the man who brought the team here IMO.



For irony they should name the marketing department after him.

For how he cared about fan experience throughout his tenture, I will suggest a toilet.
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#13 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 04:41 PM

For irony they should name the marketing department after him.

For how he cared about fan experience throughout his tenture, I will suggest a toilet.


I think this is probably a bit harsh...he wasn't warm and fuzzy to the masses, and I'll admit that the whole Nashville crap during the team's first ever SC-winning run was maddening, but I don't think he's as douchey as you're making him sound. Like DIG said, even if he's not cuddly or overly fan-friendly, the guy DID bring us an NHL hockey team to NJ. And I've done a lot of research on that topic, and the Rockies coming to NJ wasn't the slam dunk some think it was, though it had been explored multiple times...a lot of different scenarios were discussed (merging with the Washington Capitals, moving up to Hamilton, and...yikes...the RANGERS moving into Brendan Byrne!). Just be glad fate, in the form of one John McMullen, intervened and gave us a hockey team to root for that's all our own.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976, 12 March 2012 - 06:41 PM.

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THE NHL MUST LOVE THE DEVILS - from who else? A RANGER fan!
[Mark Messier]: A big, bald attention whore with a stupid Easter Island-lookin face. - from who else? DaneykoIsGod!

Even when Marty comes back maybe Larry should put Clemmensen to be on the goal during the shootouts.
Can the coach do that ? Switch the goalies 5 seconds to go in overtime?
- Most priceless quote ever posted on a message board.

Martin Brodeur: THE MOST ALL-TIME WINS!, 12 straight seasons of 30+ wins, 3 Stanley Cups, 4 Vezina Trophies, and zero respect from too many so-called Devils "fans" who are either too young or too bandwagon to remember the much darker days of Sean Burke, Craig Billington, Bob Sauve, Alain Chevrier, and the talented but overwhelmed Chico Resch, among many others.

It's easy to support a great player when he's playing at his very best. It takes a true fan to support that same player during those rare moments and stretches when he's not. Babe Ruth went 0-4 some games, and sometimes Wayne Gretzky was held pointless. There may be such a thing as greatness, but no such thing as absolute perfection every single night.

#30 FOREVER!

20 out of 1,946 njdevs.com members agree: CR1976 is the Most Knowledgable Poster of 2008! Victory is mine...oh yes, victory is mine!

#14 NJDevs4978

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:28 PM

Not to mention the whole moving thing fact wasn't all McMullen's 'fault', you gotta put some blame on the politicians and the NJSEA who were trying to screw the Devils even then.
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#15 DevsMan84

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 07:14 PM

I think this is probably a bit harsh...he wasn't warm and fuzzy to the masses, and I'll admit that the whole Nashville crap during the team's first ever SC-winning run was maddening, but I don't think he's as douchey as you're making him sound. Like DIG said, even if he's not cuddly or overly fan-friendly, the guy DID bring us an NHL hockey team to NJ. And I've done a lot of research on that topic, and the Rockies coming to NJ wasn't the slam dunk some think it was, though it had been explored multiple times...a lot of different scenarios were discussed (merging with the Washington Capitals, moving up to Hamilton, and...yikes...the RANGERS moving into Brendan Byrne!). Just be glad fate, in the form of one John McMullen, intervened and gave us a hockey team to root for that's all our own.


I said before that I do appreciate him bringing the devils here. However honestly with a new arena like brendan byrne being built and the local politicians and those in positions in power wanting a hockey team it was inevitable whether through a move or expansion. Hell the Rockies almost moved sooner but the arena was not finished yet so it really was inevitable. The whole talk of the rags moving to nj was a scare tactic to later get the renovations done to it in the very early 90s rolling.

Scrooge McMullen just happened to be the guy to bring them here. After that save for the hiring of Lou he really could not care less. Hiring Lou at the time who had no prior NHL experience was more of a move that is cost effective that just happened to work out. Lou could have very well failed and if so none of you would praise McMullen like many are now. He never promoted the team, he was slow to push the team to be on a tv channel that did not require a scrambler to even get it. I remember for many years watching them only through the tv in our house with that stupid little brown scrambler box from TKR cable.

McMullen thought he could just throw out fan experience out the window for success and we have put up with a lot of crap he did over the years for cups. While I still do rather have the cups I still will not forget the sh!t we had to go through during his time as owner
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#16 DevsMan84

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 07:17 PM

Not to mention the whole moving thing fact wasn't all McMullen's 'fault', you gotta put some blame on the politicians and the NJSEA who were trying to screw the Devils even then.


That was what McMullen said so I wouldn't take that as fact. Both sides were saying a lot of things but ultimately it is mcmullens decision what he wants to do with the team
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#17 DaneykoIsGod

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 08:21 PM

Doc McMullen : DevsMan84 :: Ilya Kovalchuk : MantaRay
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#18 DevsMan84

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 08:36 PM

Doc McMullen : DevsMan84 :: Ilya Kovalchuk : MantaRay



Got that right.

I am thankful he brought them here, I just hate what he did after minus Lou.

His sh!t marketing efforts and lack of push for getting the devils on tv that was accessible for thr first ten to twelve years helped prevent the devils from truly getting a widespread fanbase for years.

Also again the crap with him trying to move the team of course
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#19 MadDog2020

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 09:01 PM

I would still like to see McMullen honored somewhere in or around the arena. It doesn't have to be anything as crazy as what the Steelers have for the Chief, but something should be done for the man who brought the team here IMO.

Yep, I've been beating this drum for a while. Say what you want about McMullen- he certainly wasn't a perfect owner. But he is the reason we have the franchise we all love. There would be no Devils if it wasn't for Dr. McMullen. I had hoped they would change the name of Championship Plaza to McMullen Plaza. I think it would be a very nice tribute.
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#20 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 06:24 AM

Got that right.

I am thankful he brought them here, I just hate what he did after minus Lou.

His sh!t marketing efforts and lack of push for getting the devils on tv that was accessible for thr first ten to twelve years helped prevent the devils from truly getting a widespread fanbase for years.

Also again the crap with him trying to move the team of course


In bold: I think this is what McMullen deserves the most criticism for, though I think he and Lou are a two-headed monster on this one. Not only was his team moving into an incredibly crowded hockey market as it was, but look at the teams: one was the very best team in the NHL at the time in the Islanders, another had a strong multi-generational fan base in the Rangers, and a third, the Flyers, had already enjoyed success with two Stanley Cups, and had pretty much nabbed whatever hockey fans there were in South Jersey as their own. McMullen needed to be as proactive and aggressive as possible in trying to dig into those fanbases, as well as attempting to reel in the casual fans who maybe thought the NHL was kind of cool, but hadn't committed to a team yet. This was especially crucial since the on-ice product he was bringing to NJ was clearly not going to be any good for some time. He seemed to think having a team with "New Jersey" in front of its nickname would take care of everything, and that fans would automatically show up because, hey, this team plays in New Jersey!

The team was the "best kept secret" in the NHL for far too long when McMullen was the owner, except when, of course, the Devils' success and the way they went about it put them on the map as hockey killers and sleep inducers in the eyes of the masses. It would be interesting to see where the Devils might be today, from a fan standpoint, if McMullen had some of Vanderbeek's more personable and creative personality traits.
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THE NHL MUST LOVE THE DEVILS - from who else? A RANGER fan!
[Mark Messier]: A big, bald attention whore with a stupid Easter Island-lookin face. - from who else? DaneykoIsGod!

Even when Marty comes back maybe Larry should put Clemmensen to be on the goal during the shootouts.
Can the coach do that ? Switch the goalies 5 seconds to go in overtime?
- Most priceless quote ever posted on a message board.

Martin Brodeur: THE MOST ALL-TIME WINS!, 12 straight seasons of 30+ wins, 3 Stanley Cups, 4 Vezina Trophies, and zero respect from too many so-called Devils "fans" who are either too young or too bandwagon to remember the much darker days of Sean Burke, Craig Billington, Bob Sauve, Alain Chevrier, and the talented but overwhelmed Chico Resch, among many others.

It's easy to support a great player when he's playing at his very best. It takes a true fan to support that same player during those rare moments and stretches when he's not. Babe Ruth went 0-4 some games, and sometimes Wayne Gretzky was held pointless. There may be such a thing as greatness, but no such thing as absolute perfection every single night.

#30 FOREVER!

20 out of 1,946 njdevs.com members agree: CR1976 is the Most Knowledgable Poster of 2008! Victory is mine...oh yes, victory is mine!




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