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THE DEVILS WIN THE CUP BUT WHERE WILL IT BE DISPLAYED?
Published June 26, 1995
The Devils completed a 4-0 sweep of the Red Wings Saturday night, making them the first pro team from NJ to win a championship. However, post-game reaction centered as much around where the team will play next season as how the Devils' neutral-zone trap smothered the Wings. JERSEY CONCERNS: In the wake of the post-Cup hangover, the Devils should be concerned about their financial ability to re-sign the core of their team, writes Larry Brooks in the N.Y. POST. Brooks: "The commissioner's a bottom-line guy. It's time for him to broker the deal that improves the Devils' bottom line, in New Jersey" (N.Y. POST, 6/24). NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman: "Keeping the team and having it emasculated, a la the San Diego Padres, doesn't do it. You want to keep this team in its current form if it's going to stay in New Jersey" (WFAN-radio, 6/25). This morning's N.Y. DAILY NEWS' back-page headline: "WHAT NOW?" with a picture of the Devils hllding the Cup (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/26). FIRST FAN: NJ Gov. Christine Todd Whitman rushed to Devils Owner John McMullen's box after the victory with congratulations (N.Y. TIMES, 6/26). Whitman indicated later that "the chances of the Devils staying in New Jersey improved with the team winning the Stanley Cup." Whitman: "We can't let them leave, this is their home. This is where they won the Cup. New Jersey's Cup. ... I'd like to get this settled" (AP/Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 6/26). COMMISSIONER'S CORNER: Bettman gave Jersey fans hope that an agreement between McMullen and the NJSEA could be reached. Bettman: "I don't think (New Jersey) has to match (Nashville's offer) dollar for dollar" (WFAN/N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/25). In Sunday's DALLAS MORNING NEWS, Bettman paints a less-promising picture: "They may move and they may not move, I don't know. If you put a gun to my head I couldn't tell you. (But) when you have nine pro teams in one market, three in one sport, that can present problems. That doesn't mean you have to move a team. But it means if you ignore problems, you are ordaining that a team has to move" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/25). Bettman was verbally abused by Jersey fans Saturday during an between-periods interview on Fox. Later, Fox's John Davidson called those fans "misinformed." Davidson said it was between McMullen and the state and the NJSEA "to make the agreement work. It has nothing to do with the Commissioner forcing a move -- he's just trying to do the right thing." The interview was preempted in at least one Fox market, as DC's WTTG broke away to local news ("Stanley Cup Finals," Fox, 6/24). RATINGS WINNER: The Devils scored a 10.6 overnight rating for Game 4 in New York, compared with the Rangers 4.4 for their Eastern Semifinal matchup with the Flyers May 21. Game 4's ratings were also up 43% percent in New York from Fox's 7.4 for Game 1 (Larry Brooks, N.Y. POST, 6/26).