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, Czechoslovakia, but the New Jersey Devils legend and West Orange resident has formed an unbreakable bond with the New Jersey community. 

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 said.

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 make anything illegal or anything — but I had to get home,” the 40-year-old Elias said. “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 community. The community’s 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 they [the community] realize you a lot more, with the schools and the Kindergartens, Pre-Ks, 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 season 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 the local community 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

West Orange

CycleBar Livingston Offers 4 Rides for $39

June 11, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ - CycleBar Livingston -- Premium Indoor Cycling -- is offering four rides for $39 for new riders only.

New customers can take advantage of this deal at CycleBar Livingston at 277 Eisenhower Parkway. Call them at 973-261-5647. Visit livingston.cyclebar.com.

'I Matter Too' at The MAX Challenge

"The ability to say 'I matter too'": It's truly life-changing.

Jill attests to THE MAX Challenge's philosophy of "You do YOU," or, in other words, work to YOUR level-10 best.

 

Hear Jill's story:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCigVkdE5MI&feature=youtu.be

 

Throw away any concerns you may have about not being ...

Millburn's Peter Serruto Drafted by Cincinnati Reds

June 6, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - Peter Serruto, who just completed his senior season at Millburn High School, was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 22d round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft on Wednesday.

Serruto was the 649th pick overall.

The 6-foot, 190-pound right-handed batter has been a defensive standout since he first suited up in a Millburn uniform as a freshman.

"Defensively, ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, June 20, 6:30 PM

Pleasantdale Chateau , West Orange

Taste & Toast Gala

Giving Back

Wed, June 20, 6:30 PM

Pleasantdale Chateau , West Orange

Taste & Toast Gala

Giving Back

Fri, June 22, 5:30 PM

Ginny Duenkel Pool, West Orange

West Orange Community Sports & Games Night

Michael T. McCormick, Jr. Memorial Foundation Donates New Scoreboard to the West Orange PAL Baseball Field

On Sunday, April 15, the West Orange PAL baseball teams began their opening ceremonies of the spring season with a heartfelt dedication of a new scoreboard, donated by the Michael T. McCormick, Jr. Memorial Foundation.  The foundation was created to honor the life of Michael, a lifelong West Orange resident, who tragically died in a car accident on the day after his 19th birthday, Aug.

Mt. Olive Memorial Weekend Tournament: Bringing Baseball Back to West Orange!

“I’ve got to find the right spot”

“Two out rally!”

“Protect the ball”

“You fired up? I’m fired up! I can’t hear you!”

“Breathe!” “Deep breath, reset”

“Whoa..where are you going?? You can’t move”

Just a few of the statements you may have heard this past weekend at the ...

EdTA Selects Golda Och Academy Arts Department Chair for Prestigious Theatre Project

June 8, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Golda Och Academy’s Upper School Director of Student Life and Arts Department Chair, Jordan Herskowitz, was recently selected to serve on the Educational Theatre Association’s (EdTA) Model Curriculum Framework Project.

Out of more than 100 applicants for the program, EdTA selected 12 two-member teams of high school theatre educators and teaching ...