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Season Kick Off Barbecue @ The Rock 10/5 Review (LONG)


ThreeCups

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I aspired to take tons of photos to post for everyone to see; but it didn't play out that way.  I have a select few I will post at some point.   Lots of stuff was going on, so this may be all over the place.

 

So here we go....

 

Ticket say the event is from  1PM-3PM, "DOORS OPEN: 12:30PM"

 

They let us in at approximately 12:52PM.  I chalk this up to the Devils being the Devils when it comes to these sorta things.

 

I come up the escalator, and there is food EVERYWHERE.   When I say everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE.   There are tables set up along the concourse with different offerings from the various arena vendors.   First food I encounter is a mini gyro of some sort.   I walk some more and come to a ZEPPOLI table, right next to a Portuguese sausage sandwich table.  The FIRE and ICE lounges are packed with food, some of the things I remember are chicken parm sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, flatbread pizzas, a "Pepperoni Sauce" buffalo wing, platters of Calandra's desserts, etc, etc.

 

Back on the concourse there are cheesesteaks, Premio sausages fried and covered like a mozzarella stick (amazing), and countless other items.   I can eat a lot and love trying all the arena food, and I didn't get to many things.  Besides, I am eating on the run trying to see as much as possible!

 

The players start to appear and are doing one of the following:

 

1. Standing in a fixed place on the arena concourse taking photos with fans

 

2. Doing a "Mock Press Conference" where fans ask questions

 

3.  A "Q & A" session hosted by Dano himself where he asks some questions, and then has some fans ask questions (in Goal Bar)

 

4.  Assisting some "celebrity chef" type chef cook on the concourse, complete with chef coats.  Fans also can ask the players questions during these sessions.

 

 

I think a few of the alumni guys like Grant Marshall were messing around with some kids on the main Prudential Center ice.

 

 

There was also lots of other more kid-centric stuff going on along the concourse as well; face-painting, coloring, balloon animals, etc.  I think some video games too.  I have 0 interest in that kinda stuff, so I dismissed it along my travels. 

 

 

It is impossible to be everywhere at once, so you have to pick and choose what you do/where you go/what your priorities are.  No two fans' experiences can be exactly the same at these events. 

 

I go to most of these events every year, so I wasn't necessarily trying to get photos with a lot of guys.  I only wanted a few that I did not already have.  It is a rather relaxed atmosphere, and you get a few seconds of face time with the guys you wait on line for.  Some people get overzealous and try to engage the players in full length conversations.  To these people I say, "Keep it moving!!"

 

If someone is ambitious and scurrying around, you can get photos with a good amount of players.  On a side note, this was a "No Autograph Event", but as always I saw people getting things signed.  It would have to be a smaller item or something like a jersey but it could be done rather easily.  I love getting autographs, but refrain from asking when they say "No Autographs".  I do regret not bringing my Scott Clemmensen bobblehead to get signed though.  Who knows if I will have another chance at him this season.

 

 

Early on I was running through the Fire lounge and quickly downing a chicken parm when I saw Tootoo with a Devils rep standing around with nobody around them.  He wasn't necessarily on my want list, but I do like his game and hope he sticks around.  I went up to him and got the photo.  I felt like a giant next to him.

 

I ended up attending the Jaromir Jagr & Andy Green Q & A session with Dano.  Very cool stuff.   Dano asked a couple questions to each guy and then opened it up to fans' questions.  Kenny applauded Jagr for his endurance and dedication to the game, being able to perform and compete at his age.  Dano said he believes that Jaromir can play until he is 50 if he wants to.  I got to ask Jags a question, which ultimately Dano had to translate to him after the fact.  This session lasted about 40 minutes or so.  Afterwards they posed for photos with everyone who waited.  I got a pic of me between Jags and Greene.  Pretty cool.

 

Waited in a very small line to go up to Gomez.  I razzed him a bit about his defection across the river, and told him to help bring us Cup #4.  Took a picture with him. 

 

Saw Gelinas in one of the lounges, got a photo with him.  I told him to keep ripping the cannon slapper.  He said he definitely will be.

 

Came across Cory Schneider in one of the lounges.  Got a photo with him, and wished him good luck for the season.

 

Saw a few minutes of Schneider and Cammalleri doing the chef session.  This was hosted by EJ Hradek.  Towards the end I got to ask a question.  I happened to have on a Rutgers hat, so EJ opened it up with a crack at former Michigan guy Cammalleri for their lost to RU last night.  Cammalleri said that Michigan football is in a bad place right now.  I asked them who their 5 favorite players to watch were growing up.

 

Schneider went with:

 

Ray Bourque, Marty, Luongo, Adam Oates and Cam Neely.  (he is a Boston guy!)  Cory said he obviously watched goalies because he was one, and that it was a great experience getting to play with both Luongo and Marty.

 

Cammalleri's list was:

 

Sakic, Gretzky, Bure and ???  I think one was Mario Lemieux, but I am not positive.  Cannot remember the other.

 

 

Got a photo with Cammalleri after this session was over.  Great event, and I had a great time.  I got to stuff my face, make small talk with players, ask a few questions and get some cool photos and see the guys in a more informal setting.

 

 

Overall, people can say what they want about the Devils; there is often miscommunication/misinformation regarding events like this and other matters, etc etc.  This event was nothing less than spectacular.   I can guarantee NO OTHER TEAM IN ALL OF PRO SPORTS has things with player access like this.  NONE!

 

THIS is what makes my Season Tickets worth it to me, even with all of the pricing nonsense and other drama.

 

THIS is why I will have Seasons for the rest of my life.

 

 

Maybe I am a bit overly excited post-event, but I feel really good about this team for this season......

 

 

 

LET'S GO DEVILS!!!

Edited by ThreeCups
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I agree, the only downer besides the 12:50 entry is some of the players were 'hidden' in the sth jersey giveaway areas (I saw Jagr upstairs in the 30-year jersey giveaway before he went to his press conference), I obviously felt I couldn't go up there not being a 30-year sth haha.  I really wanted to get Jagr/Cory this year but just missed Cory in the lounge.  I did get pictures with most of the other players I didn't get last year which was pretty much my goal.

 

Definitely echo what you said about the food and the point about no two fans' experiences being the same, geez it was all to do to avoid pigging out.  One of these years I kind of want to just attend the press conference stuff cause it seems kind of fun from what little I see collecting pictures :P

 

Technically the doors DID open at 12:30 they just didn't let people in for 20 minutes :lol:

Edited by NJDevs4978
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Like I said in the other thread the whole staff should be commended for a job well done.

Sat at the mock press conference the whole time. Some notes:

Schneids wore a Jeter Yankee hat as requested by a fan. He said he was afraid his head was gonna melt while he wore it, but to his credit he put it on. He ended up forgetting about it until Clowe reminded him. Good sport.

Cammo is a super cool guy. Really talkative and you could tell he enjoyed engaging with the fans. He was asked who was the most skilled he ever pkayed with and he said Zigmund Palfy. Clowe quiety whispered "Kovalev" to him actually befire Cammo answered, and Mike emphatically was like hell no. I could tell he had no respect for the way he played the game.

Bryce is very soft spoken to the point he could put you to sleep.

The Elias stand up session was killer as usual. Especially since his response of "drugs" when someone asked how Zubrus stays healthy during the season. Elias pretty much just destroyed Zubie the whole time. Sometimes Zubes doesn't look to thrilled with the ribbing.

Someone asked Jagr who the best player he has played with and he said Zajac. The whole room erupted in laughter and Zajac asked the crowd why everyone was laughing. Really funny.

Ryder said teams preparing to play the Devils always knew they were gonna play a really boring game of hockey. They hated it.

All the food I tasted was excellent, especially the burgers.

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I agree, the only downer besides the 12:50 entry is some of the players were 'hidden' in the sth jersey giveaway areas (I saw Jagr upstairs in the 30-year jersey giveaway before he went to his press conference), I obviously felt I couldn't go up there not being a 30-year sth haha.  I really wanted to get Jagr/Cory this year but just missed Cory in the lounge.  I did get pictures with most of the other players I didn't get last year which was pretty much my goal.

 

Definitely echo what you said about the food and the point about no two fans' experiences being the same, geez it was all to do to avoid pigging out.  One of these years I kind of want to just attend the press conference stuff cause it seems kind of fun from what little I see collecting pictures :P

 

Technically the doors DID open at 12:30 they just didn't let people in for 20 minutes :lol:

 

 

They did move Jagr around a few times to areas where he was "exposed".  I highly recommend going to any of the interview type sessions or press conferences.  It is definitely a unique experience.

 

And CORRECTION:  They did open the outer most set of doors at 12:30, we just waited an additional 22 minutes for them to scan our tickets and metal detect wand us.

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From what I see everywhere on FB and on various boards, this was by far the best Team BBQ event ever.

 

I guess that will placate the goal song whiners as well as other "we hate the new owners no matter what they do" crowd for probably about a week or so.

Edited by DevsMan84
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Would you say that the new owners are trying to be more involved with the fans at least the STHs? Obviously the STH BBQ but also speaking about how many STH holders for the Devils vs the top teams and the nice gift in the shirt. They are still losing money with the Devils presently Things like the upgrade in the quality of food and variety I know they will make more money but the overall experience at the Rock should be better. What do you think?

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Would you say that the new owners are trying to be more involved with the fans at least the STHs? Obviously the STH BBQ but also speaking about how many STH holders for the Devils vs the top teams and the nice gift in the shirt. They are still losing money with the Devils presently Things like the upgrade in the quality of food and variety I know they will make more money but the overall experience at the Rock should be better. What do you think?

 

 

They are at least giving the impression they want to be more involved with STHs.  To some extent I believe them.   I do believe they are trying to increase the profitability of the team first and foremost.  It is a business, so this makes sense.

From what I see everywhere on FB and on various boards, this was by far the best Team BBQ event ever.

 

I guess that will placate the goal song whiners as well as other "we hate the new owners no matter what they do" crowd for probably about a week or so.

 

 

In my opinion it was....

 

I have been to a few, and this one was the best.  The food was hands down the best, and the extra added activities made the players less overwhelmed.  

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my thoughts.

 

Not knowing what the prices are going to be which may change my opinion, but the sausage corndog was the best of the new food with the pulled pork(gravy not bbq) poutine a close second.  Still wish the players had their jersey, or some sort of id because I just don't know half the young players by face alone.  Hell, I got a Merril jersey and I probably wouldn't recognize him if I walked into him.  

 

Cammy said that 13 never came up during the negations and when he got to camp, 23 was waiting for him.   He was answering a question, he didn't bring it up before all the tin foil hats come out.  

 

Owners were very friendly and weren't swamped with people.  

 

Always love talking to Lou for a couple minutes.  He doesn't get enough respect when it comes to his interactions with the fans.  

 

Kenny has to learn how to interview.  He asks a question, then spends more time in explaining his question then the players do giving answers.  Better than when he first started, and maybe the looseness of the event contributed, but it is something he has to work on.  Wish Doc was back to help him with the transition.  Just wish Doc was back in general, but that is just selfishness.

 

If you walked by Patty and didn't know him, the last thing you would guess is that he's a hokey player.  

 

Even talked to Pete the organ guy.  Nice guy,  i didn't go near the ice, but looked like a bunch of stuff going on down there as well.

 

I've been to a couple of these,  all in a all a good event.  

 

Joe

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Joe reminded me that I talked with Kevin Clark down at the scorers table. Told us a few cool stories, told us how he prepares for the game, and I learned he was a Devils season ticket holder before getting the job as the announcer. So we liked them having Pete and Kevin there.

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Still wish the players had their jersey, or some sort of id because I just don't know half the young players by face alone.  Hell, I got a Merril jersey and I probably wouldn't recognize him if I walked into him.  

 

I always tried to ask the security guy next to them when I wasn't sure :lol:

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my thoughts.

 

Not knowing what the prices are going to be which may change my opinion, but the sausage corndog was the best of the new food with the pulled pork(gravy not bbq) poutine a close second.  Still wish the players had their jersey, or some sort of id because I just don't know half the young players by face alone.  Hell, I got a Merril jersey and I probably wouldn't recognize him if I walked into him.  

 

Cammy said that 13 never came up during the negations and when he got to camp, 23 was waiting for him.   He was answering a question, he didn't bring it up before all the tin foil hats come out.  

 

Owners were very friendly and weren't swamped with people.  

 

Always love talking to Lou for a couple minutes.  He doesn't get enough respect when it comes to his interactions with the fans.  

 

Kenny has to learn how to interview.  He asks a question, then spends more time in explaining his question then the players do giving answers.  Better than when he first started, and maybe the looseness of the event contributed, but it is something he has to work on.  Wish Doc was back to help him with the transition.  Just wish Doc was back in general, but that is just selfishness.

 

If you walked by Patty and didn't know him, the last thing you would guess is that he's a hokey player.  

 

Even talked to Pete the organ guy.  Nice guy,  i didn't go near the ice, but looked like a bunch of stuff going on down there as well.

 

I've been to a couple of these,  all in a all a good event.  

 

Joe

 

 

Where did they have the owners stationed?

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Towards the end I got to ask a question.  I asked them who their 5 favorite players to watch were growing up.

 

Cammalleri's list was:

 

Sakic, Gretzky, Bure and ???  I think one was Mario Lemieux, but I am not positive.  Cannot remember the other.

 

 

 

Awesome recap of the event.

 

The guy you can't remember from Cammalleri's list was Jagr.

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Where did they have the owners stationed?

 

 

They weren't "stationed" anywhere, but Hugh Weber was walking around the concourse and readily accessible if you wanted to go up to him.  I think the other guy he was with was Scott O'Neill/

Awesome recap of the event.

 

The guy you can't remember from Cammalleri's list was Jagr.

 

Yupp!

 

How could I forget #68?!?!?

 

Sakic, Gretzky, Lemieux, Jagr and Bure was the Cammy list...

For those that went were there any healthy food options? That's a big part of the reason I never eat at the arena and I've never bothered walking all the way around to discover if there is anything already but I've never seen anything on the way to my seats.

 

Is Gyro healthy?  Lol

 

It was definitely not a health food expo in there that is for sure!  Fried goods everywhere and copious amounts of extra sauces/cheese, etc

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Thanks everyone for the recap and making us non STH jealous!

It's great to hear the organization is perhaps hitting the reset button when it comes to fan relations, hopefully events like this get a lot of word of mouth and encourage people to become STHs. If I was still in the area I know I would be tempted.

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...hopefully events like this get a lot of word of mouth and encourage people to become STHs. If I was still in the area I know I would be tempted.

This is not a negative remark. Honestly just asking.

I live 10 minutes from philly. So I'll use the flyers as an example.

If they did this, it would have the news there and run on every news station that day. Covered in the paper, talked about on sports radio and maybe even a commercial for it. Not to mention showing clips all season during games during ticket advertisements.

Was this event known buy anyone not a sth or following the Devils on the internet? This is the exact type of thing The Devils should be promoting. Sounds like it was really cool. I dont care about just meeting players, but i would of gone to this.

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this bbq really sounds like an unbelievable event.  i actually have never met any of the devils players, past or present.  (grew up in Colorado though so wasn't really around them but still).  it just sounds like seeing the players and meeting them is such a casual thing.. haha i would've been like star struck.

 

that, and you add in the incredible food.. awesome

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This is not a negative remark. Honestly just asking.

I live 10 minutes from philly. So I'll use the flyers as an example.

If they did this, it would have the news there and run on every news station that day. Covered in the paper, talked about on sports radio and maybe even a commercial for it. Not to mention showing clips all season during games during ticket advertisements.

Was this event known buy anyone not a sth or following the Devils on the internet? This is the exact type of thing The Devils should be promoting. Sounds like it was really cool. I dont care about just meeting players, but i would of gone to this.

 

Agreed. Sounds like something they should at least highlight in a 5 minute spot in the pregame or an intermission feature on MSG (on Thursday's game which will get higher ratings than average, some casuals/non-STHs), or furthermore a little feature on NJ12 or even the local 5'o'clock news. 

 

Considering they've completely revamped their Public Relations department, I hope to see more of that type of stuff this season.

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