Jerseys At The Rock: Alexander Vasyunov Edition

This will be a recurring feature throughout the regular season (and hopefully postseason as well).  One of the great things about New Jersey Devils fans is that they get very creative with their jerseys.  Whether it’s a personalized one or an old-school Devils player, NJ fans sport some great threads at the Prudential Center.  Let’s take a look at some of the ones we saw in the last week or so.

New Jersey 1982

Nice…a jersey that’s good forever.  What more is there to say?  The Devils came to New Jersey from Colorado for the 1982-83 season.   Granted, it wasn’t a pleasant year at 17-49-14, but it was the beginning of a franchise that has made a name for itself in just 30 seasons.  It’s amazing to think that this team has made five Stanley Cup trips, three championships and numerous Atlantic Division titles.  We’ve had it so good as Devils fans.  While we want to win a championship every year, it’s great to see the high level of success they’ve had, considering they are still a relatively young organization compared to a majority of the teams in the league.  I hope this team continues to keep its identity for a long time to come.

Sutton

Ken Sutton!  Believe it or not, the Devils actually acquired him FOUR times.  1st TIME: They got him from the St. Louis Blues for fan favorite Mike Peluso and Ricard Persson in November of 1996.  However, he didn’t play for New Jersey at all that year.  He only played 13 games for the team in the 1997-98 season before he was shipped out in December of 1997 when he was traded along with long-time Devil John MacLean to San Jose for Doug Bodger and Dody Wood.  2ND TIME: The Sharks promptly traded him back to NJ eight months later before the start of the 1998-99 campaign.  He only played five games that year.  Before the 1999-00 season, the Washington Capitals nabbed him off waivers on September 27.  3RD TIME:  The Devils wanted him back pretty badly, as they re-acquired him eight days later.  He would go on to play 64 games over the next three seasons, including 53 games in the 2000-01 campaign.  For some odd reason, his name is on the Stanley Cup for the 2000 championship…no idea why.  While he played very few contests, he did see some playoff time in 2000-01 playoffs.  He played Games Five, Six and Seven against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the semifinals.  He saw time in Game One of the Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins and then Games Five and Six against the Colorado Avalanche in the Finals.  4TH TIME:  He went to the New York Islanders for the 2001-02 season, before the Devils signed him as a free agent prior to the 2002-03 season.  He played all 74 games for AHL Albany, however, and was the captain of the squad.

Arlette

Wow.  I wonder if this guy actually bought and customized this jersey, or if he somehow won an auction or something where it was up for grabs.  Arlette is the longtime national anthem singer for the New Jersey Devils.  She started with the team in the 1998-99 season and sang at most of the games through the 2002-03 season.  Over the last several years, she has appeared here and there but not nearly as many as she used to.  She still gets a tremendous ovation when she steps to the mic at The Rock.  You can often hear fans in the arena scream and ask where she is before the anthem is done on game nights.  I think fans identify with Arlette so much because she was in the midst of the Devils golden years.  She sang just about every game when the team went to three Stanley Cup Finals in four years.

Vasyunov

RIP, Alexander Vasyunov.  He was involved in the plane crash of the Lokomotiv team of the KHL back on September 7, 2011.  He had been in the Devils’ system since 2006 and came over to play in the states with AHL Lowell for the 2008-09 season.  He finally cracked the big team’s lineup in the 2010-11 season.  While he didn’t play in any games after January 23, it looked like he was ready to be a consistent piece of the team’s forwards before he elected to go back to Russia to play there for 2011-12.  I really thought he was going to be a nice player on the bottom two lines for the team.  RIP.

Jerseys At The Rock is a regular feature on DevilsInsiders.com.  See a quirky/funny/great jersey at The Rock (or anywhere)?  Send it to us at devilsinsiders@gmail.com and we’ll feature it (as well as credit you) on our site!