I've mentioned this many times here before but Elias is both my all time favorite Devils and player. I remember him faintly in his first couple of years but really started loving him in the 99-00 season. By 2000-01 season in his monster 40-goal and 96-point season it felt like we finally had that homegrown full-fledged NHL superstar player. As others have mentioned Elias probably sacrificed 200+ points to stick with the Devils and their system in order to win those two cups in 2000 and 2003. He really is the last from the dynasty era Devils of the late 90's and especially early 2000's. I have had the pleasure of meeting him a few times over the years and he is as gracious and humble as he seems in his interviews. I won't say I will not shed a tear or two today, but it will be bittersweet to see his number finally raised to the rafters where it belongs.
In honor of my favorite player whose number is being retired today, here is my current Patrik Elias game worn collection:
1) 95-96 white set 1 River Rats. Scored his first point as a pro in North America in this jersey. (I have this photomatched but for some odd reason the A was added after he finished wearing it).
2) 2001-02 white set 2
3 2013-14 white set 1 (also wore it in first game in Brooklyn which was a preseason game)
4) 14-15 red set 1