Posted 29 March 2014 - 05:48 AM
Imperatore's wanting to move the team effectively killed Rocky Hockey, in that the fans who were starting to embrace the team (the Rockies had somehow managed to make the playoffs in 1978, despite winning just 19 games) now knew Denver was just a stopover until the team went somewhere else. Peter Gilbert, who bought the team from Imperatore in 1981, actually did want to keep in the team in Colorado (it was his group that told Chico as much), but with the franchise hemorrhaging money at that point (and attendance consistently in the 8000-9000 range, if that...both the constant losing and Imperatore's very public flirting with New Jersey had severely hurt any chance of building up a real fanbase), Gilbert quickly realized he didn't have the stomach or the pockets to withstand the proper multi-year rebuild it would take to make the organization profitable.
In defense of McMullen, he lost about $9 million in his first five seasons as the Devils owner...previous owners had been very quick to dump the team, but McMullen did stick it out. McMullen and later Lamoriello, when they became a tandem, definitely didn't come off as warm and fuzzy (Lou still doesn't), and right through '95 almost came off as having disdain for the Devils fanbase at times. They weren't always on the same page either: in the early 90s, when the Devils were becoming a yearly playoff team but seemed to be stuck in neutral, McMullen actually said to Rich Chere "Is Lou THE judge on hockey talent? No." As one would imagine, Lou didn't exactly appreciate that.
'95 was really the turning point for both men, in that the team won the Cup, and the team didn't move (which sadly did take a little of the joy of the Cup run away from many fans). McMullen is remembered as a swell grandfatherly presence who brought a hockey team to NJ, and Lou will go down as one of the best GMs in all of sports no matter what he does.
Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976, 29 March 2014 - 05:52 AM.
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.
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!