For the first time in team history, the New Jersey Devils released a third jersey on Nov. 23.
The primarily black jersey is an ode to 90 years of New Jersey hockey history and its design was led by Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur and Devils Senior Vice President of Marketing Jillian Frechette.
It will be worn numerous times over the next three years, including 12 out of 13 times this season on home ice.
Musings about developing a third jersey began among senior leaders in 2014 or 2015, Frechette said, but in 2018, Brodeur was brought back to the organization as executive vice president of hockey operations—the same year he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame—and Frechette joined the organization from Canada. Their first assignment together was to create a third jersey.
“It’s been a really special process with an alumnus. Marty’s an amazing hockey player and an even better human. It’s been a joy to work with him sweating the threads,” Frechette said.
The third jersey is distinct to New Jersey in a few key ways.
First, “Jersey” is spelled out across the front as a departure from the “NJ” that adorns the team’s other garb. While the New Jersey Devils are one of several professional sports teams in the state, they’re the only one that claims solely New Jersey. National Football League teams New York Jets and New York Giants don’t do that; neither do the New York Red Bulls. And while professional women’s soccer team NJ/NY Gotham is inclusive of New Jersey, it also claims New York.
Second, its striping pattern pays homage to the state’s professional hockey teams of yesteryear, including the Newark Bulldogs, which played from 1928 to 1929; the River Vale Skeeters, which played from 1939 to 1942; and the Jersey Larks, which played from 1960 to 1961. There are 21 stripes on the jersey, giving a nod to the 21 counties within the state; and the five white stripes are a nod to the five Legend Banners that hang in the halls of the Prudential Center, one of which for Brodeur.
New Jersey Devils fans had made it known to the team that they wanted a black jersey for some time, Frechette said. Giving them what they want and creating a black jersey with so many intricate New Jersey-forward details was a way to honor them.
“Marty is a very proud New Jersey guy. We talk about how he was born in Montreal but ‘made in New Jersey’… Jersey means something to Marty but it means something to scads of our fans,” Frechette said. “Their pride of place is evident and their pride in the team is evident.”
The Devils will wear the black jersey on ice for the first time on Dec. 8 in a home game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The 13 times they will wear it each season is a nod to their 22-year-old captain Nico Hischier, who wears jersey No. 13. Like Brodeur, Hischier is not originally from New Jersey, but his professional hockey career was made here when he was drafted by the Devils at age 18.
Devils fans can purchase the new jersey and associated merchandise including starter jackets, hoodies, wool caps and ball caps, flags and pennants, and scarfs from traditional retailers starting Nov. 28.
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