The New Jersey Devils hockey team has traveled a long way from its humble origins to become one of the most popular ice hockey teams in the country. The New Jersey Devils Hockey Club, then called the Kansas Scouts, which was formed in 1974 as a result of the NHL expansions has seen a whole lot of ups and downs, name and ownership changes to last any decent hockey team more than two lifetimes.
Due to an extremely dismal performance in the first two years of their inception, winning only 27 out of 160 games, the team moved to Colorado in 1976 with the aim of making a fresh start altogether and was re-christened the Colorado Rockies. However, while the team's performance definitely improved in Colorado over what it was earlier, it was still nothing much to write home about. The final move came when the team was bought by New Jersey shipping tycoon John McMullen and shifted to New Jersey. The team had now moved amidst the tigers, and had to contend with the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York rangers and the three time Stanley Cup Winners, New York Islanders, who were all baying for the blood of the new team to join the tri-state hockey circuit of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The Devils have displayed a particular style of playing and have always been known as a defense first rather than offense first team. The team places an emphasis on speed and alacrity and have patented their own style of run and gun ice hockey. Today, the team is one of the most popular in the country, with a number of Stanley Cup trophies and Atlantic Division titles under their belt. While the club faces almost all of the country's professional ice hockey teams as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the NHL (National Hockey League), its arch rivals are still the neighboring teams of the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers.
Some of the most popular players of the New Jersey Devils hockey team till date have been Patrik Elias, John Madden and Brian Gionta, who have been responsible for taking the team from strength to strength. Other popular players, especially among the younger lot are Travis Zajac and Zach Parise.
The New Jersey Devils hockey team, which has been playing their home games in the Continental Airlines Arena ever since their move to the city of New Jersey in 1982, will be switching stadiums in October 2007, when they are slated to play their first game at the Prudential Center in Newark, which will be the home ground for the team henceforth. The Center, which was under construction for some years, will finally host the New Jersey hockey team's inaugural match against the Ottawa Senators, with whom they played their last home game in their old stadium.