Sports

Patrik Elias Skates for Final Time as a Devil, Reflects on Local NJ Community’s Impact on His Life

3b2a2117956095cb571f_DSC_3289_2.jpg
Patrik Elias skated with the NJ Devils for one final time Saturday at Prudential Center prior to the Devils-Islanders game. Credits: Matt Kipp
953595f97ba6904a8d7b_IMG_0880.JPG
Patrik Elias laughs during his press conference Saturday. 'The people [local community] have just been unbelievable to me and to my family,' Elias told TAPinto. Credits: Matt Kipp
59a12544b51c132e0507_DSC_3287.JPG
Patrik Elias (26) skates with teammates Michael Kalpa (32) and Pavel Zacha (37) during warmups Saturday. Credits: Matt Kipp
55b5995a528ed81955dd_DSC_3286_2.jpg
Patrik Elias skates with the Devils Saturday. Credits: Matt Kipp
3b2a2117956095cb571f_DSC_3289_2.jpg

NEWARK, NJ — Patrik Elias may have grown up in Trebíč, in the Czech Republic, but the New Jersey Devils legend has formed an unbreakable bond with New Jersey local communities. 

Saturday night at Prudential Center, the Devils’ all-time scoring leader skated with his team one final time after announcing his retirement from the National Hockey League (NHL) last Friday. Devils fans of all ages flocked to “The Rock” in droves to pay their respects to one of the greatest players to ever don the red and black Devils sweater, as he participated in a skate around prior to the night’s Devils-Islanders game.

Elias had nothing but praise for those fans, many of them from local communities in New Jersey. 

Sign Up for E-News

“You don’t realize how much a big deal it [local fan support] is to you, how much it influences your life and effects your daily life,” Elias told TAPinto.net

Elias’ stardom gained as a New Jersey Devils has even given him some unique experiences, even privileges, in local communities.

“Thursday, I was going home after the game and they were fixing a road up in West Orange, and I couldn’t get home, couldn’t make a turn and they were sending me a different way. I roll my window down and the guy goes: ‘Oh, you’re lucky you’re retired, just go ahead!’ And the policemen, they were nice and it was great — I didn’t do anything illegal or anything — but I had to get home,” the 40-year-old Elias shared with TAPinto. “Those are the kinds of things that you don’t realize — that you are part of the community and they know you because you’re a public figure, and you just appreciate it so much, that they notice and that they appreciate what you do.”

Elias nearly came to tears Saturday night when his family accompanied him on the ice during his puck drop ceremony prior to the game. His daughters, Kaila and Sophia, along with wife Petra, have also been welcomed with open arms by the Devils and Garden State communities. Their support of Elias’ family has made the five-time all-star even further admire and salute the locals.

“Especially when you have kids, all of a sudden [people] recognize you a lot more, with the schools and the Kindergartens, PreKs, everything. The people have just been unbelievable to me and to my family,” said Elias.

Selected in the second round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Devils, Elias spent all 20 of his NHL seasons in New Jersey with the Devils. The left wing helped the Devils win Stanley Cups in 1999-00 and 2002-03. He is the Devils’ all-time leader in goals (408), assists (617) and points (1,025). The Devils have announced his jersey number 26 will be retired next season.

And locals will be supportive of “Patty” — a legend — every step of the way.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Newark

McGovern's summer renovation closing party celebrates change

June 16, 2018

It always takes a few seconds for your eyes to adjust when you walk into McGovern's Tavern in Newark, a downtown fixture since 1936.

But this Friday afternoon, there were two immediate sights that demonstrated something was different.

First, most of the photos, portraits, and articles that cover the bar's walls were removed, the relics of decades of history gone.

Second, you ...

Newark men honored for serving as role models by the Marion P. Thomas Charter School Foundation

June 11, 2018

Newark, NJ—Three local men and one corporation received awards from the Marion P. Thomas Charter School (MPTCS) Foundation at its annual “Fathers for our Children” Awards Ceremony and Scholarship Fundraiser.

This year’s award recipients are Modia "Mo" Butler, political strategist; the late Dr. Fabian Rice of RWJ/ Barnabas Health’s ...

50 years after RFK assassination, the NBHS band’s moment is remembered

June 7, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - On a warm June day in 1968, 40 members of the New Brunswick High School band stood on the city train platform playing solemn hymns.

It was supposed to be a one-hour performance as they waited the train traveling from New York to Washington, carrying the body of a slain presidential candidate, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

But one-hour dragged into two, and then three, as ...

Got junk? Rutgers students do

June 1, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - On a thin tripod of supports, the black charcoal grill sat on top of love seat that was half on the street, half on the curb, outside a Delafield Street apartment.

As the college year ends, and this generation of Rutgers students empty out of apartments, their well-used but now discarded remains line city curbs, and sometimes spill into ...

50 years after RFK assassination, the NBHS band’s moment is remembered

June 7, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - On a warm June day in 1968, 40 members of the New Brunswick High School band stood on the city train platform playing solemn hymns.

It was supposed to be a one-hour performance as they waited the train traveling from New York to Washington, carrying the body of a slain presidential candidate, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

But one-hour dragged into two, and then three, as ...

Hearing Loss Common in School-Aged Children

May 30, 2018

With close to 15% of U.S. children ages 6–19 experiencing hearing loss, New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NJSHA) notes that May Is Better Hearing & Speech Month is the ideal time for parents to learn more about the sometimes-subtle signs of hearing loss, ways it can affect school-aged children, and where to find help.

“Some children are born ...

Ensure Safe Sleep While Traveling with Baby

June 6, 2018

As we approach the summer, there will be plenty of expected travel for families, from visiting grandma at the beach to heading out on a long, well-deserved vacation. 

When staying overnight at a friend’s or family’s place, it is important to maintain the same sleep practices as you do at home. Your baby should be sleeping in a safe, modern crib that meets the latest ...