Alright another example: If you went back to the summer of 2003 and asked people in NJ who Elias was and who Jason Kidd was, I will bet anything that more people knew who Kidd was before Elias. Both went to the finals that year, Elias even won the cup and Kidd lost in the finals. And this is just talking about the NJ market.
The Nets put a lot of effort into marketing Kidd at the time and it paid off.
The only reason Brodeur gets recognition beyond the Garden State is because he is the GREATEST GOALIE IN NHL HISTORY. Without some marketing help the rest of the Devils don't have a chance.
Hockey and basketball are two different beasts.
Hockey simply is not a priority in the local sports media. Basketball, baseball, and football will always trump it. And in the limited time and space the sports media does give to hockey, the city teams will always trump the Jersey team. Face it, we're a niche sport whose team is going against the NY and Philly media with ... what ... NJN, CN8, and 101.5 to call our own? And even those media outlets don't matter because, in order for Jersey's team to get any attention at all, we have to sign a contract with a NYC network named after the arena our biggest rival calls home.
The Devils' biggest problem is that too many New Jersey hockey fans don't root for the New Jersey hockey team. And part of that problem is the fact that a lot of New Jerseyans don't identify with New Jersey as much as they do with New York or Philly, depending on which city they're living in a suburb of. Could marketing help with that? Maybe. But most of it seems to stem from "My Dad was a Rangers fan, so I am too." Commercials probably wouldn't lessen a boy's desire to bond with his father over a sports team.
The only solution is simple: Kick Rangers fans in the nuts until they are incapable of fathering Rangers fan children.