Sports

NHL’s Centennial Fan Exhibit Makes Stop in Newark

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New Jersey Devils forwards John Quenneville (third from left) and Joseph Blandisi (fourth from left) were joined by friends and family at the NHL's centennial exhibit prior to Saturday evening's game. Credits: Sean Conklin
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Former Devils defenseman Ken Danyeko (left) recalls the three Stanley Cup Championships he won with MSG's Arda Ocal. Credits: Sean Conklin
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The Nocera Family from Scotch Plains was among the first to tour the NHL's centennial fan exhibit in Newark. From left to right: Ken, John, Sammie and Kristi. Credits: Sean Conklin
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Former New Jersey Devils captain Bryce Salvador (left) and Ken Danyeko (right), whose jersey number is retired in the rafters at the Prudential Center have a conversation in the pop-up rink. Credits: Sean Conklin
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NEWARK, NJ –  Hockey fans of all ages enjoyed the first day of a two-day event on Saturday afternoon by participating in a variety of festivities at The Prudential Center’s Championship Plaza, at the corner of Mulberry and Market Streets in Newark as the NHL celebrates its centennial with an interactive traveling fan experience prior to the New Jersey Devils’ home game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The fan exhibit featured a 53-foot museum truck with more than 1,000 square feet of interactive displays, a pop-up floor hockey rink, a virtual reality zamboni ice surfacing experience, photo opportunities with the Stanley Cup and interaction with Devils’ alumni including Ken Danyeko, Bryce Salvador and Grant Marshall.

“We created this traveling fan experience that will visit every single NHL market in 2017 to celebrate the centennial and as a way of saying thank you to the fans,” said Jennifer Neziol, Vice President of Corporate and Strategic Business Communications at the NHL, who credited the idea to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “The response (to this tour) has been overwhelming. It’s like a mini Hockey Hall of Fame visiting each market. There’s so much here for fans of all ages to enjoy and people are thrilled to participate.”

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Perhaps the most recognizable and celebrated trophy in all of sports, the Stanley Cup was a popular attraction amongst fans.

“I was so happy to see the Stanley Cup,” said John Nocera, a seven-year old Devils fan from Scotch Plains, who plays for the Union Thunder. “My favorite part of playing hockey is scoring goals.”

This weekend’s festivities at the Prudential Center marks the 14th stop of the NHL’s centennial fan exhibit, which began on Jan. 1 with the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic, when the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 in overtime at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. It is the first stop of the tour in the New York tri-state area.

“It’s definitely exciting to see all the fans come out,” said second-year Devils forward Joe Blandisi, who was joined by his family. “There’s so much history in this league and for the NHL to come do this for the fans in every city in the league is really special. The NHL has done a great job promoting this so far and I think the fans get a kick out of it.”

If you missed the festivities today, you’ll have another opportunity tomorrow.  The event opens on Sunday at 1 p.m. for Devils’ Members (membership ID required) and at 2 p.m. for the general public.

Fans are invited to visit NHL.com/100 for the latest Centennial news, content, videos, images, and NHL Centennial Fan Arena and NHL Centennial events.

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