Is this the year the NJ Devils steal South Jersey Flyers fans?
The New Jersey Devils hockey team is celebrating its 40th season as a franchise here in our state. They were the Colorado Rockies up until the 1982-83 season.
Hockey fans here already had their allegiances. The Rangers and a few Islander fans in the northern half of the state and the Philadelphia Flyers in the southern half of the state. "What about Central Jersey"? Stop. They're part of the New York media market in the northern half of the state. That's a tired discussion for another time.
The Jersey Devils are having a legendary season and could go all the way to their fourth Stanley Cup in their relatively young franchise history. The Flyers are out of the playoffs after yet another disappointing season.
We're not sure if there's enough there to be competitive in the next few years. The Devils however finished the season with the third-highest point total in the NHL and look strong for the foreseeable future.
With bonafide stars in their line-up like Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Dougie Hamilton there is enough to get excited about and rally around.
So as a Flyers fan can I jump on board the Devil's bandwagon? Do I want to? Is it wrong?
Yes, it's wrong. For one thing, they're not in my media market and play their games and practice almost two hours from where I live.
I wish them well and will be rooting for them the rest of the way, but there's no way that Flyers fans can switch allegiances and the same can be said for Rangers fans if NY loses to the Devils in the first round of the playoffs.
So good luck to the Jersey Devils. We in South Jersey will enjoy watching you play now that "our team" is eliminated. It just might take a few more Stanley Cups and a couple more generations to get the majority of hockey fans in the state to root for the state team.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.
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