Devils GM Ray Shero Pushes More Fan Engagement As Team Rebuilds On Ice
Having missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons and four of the past five, the Devils organization is "trying desperately to connect better with its fans during one of its most trying times," according to Tom Gulitti of the Bergen RECORD. The "push is on to give the fans a better look at what’s to come," and that was one of the "ancillary goals" at last week’s prospect development camp. A 3-on-3 tournament Wednesday was "open to the public with 500-plus fans filling the practice rink," and "another sellout crowd" attended Saturday's scrimmage. The Devils have "gradually been giving fans more non-game chances to see their team," an area they have been "long lacking in" under team President Lou Lamoriello. With new GM Ray Shero, "that effort will escalate." The team "already is paving a wider social media path, using its website and Twitter account to post unprecedented -- for the Devils -- coverage of development camp, including live video of practices through Periscope." The Devils as a result have "been averaging more than 850,000 social media impressions per day compared to just 175,000 per day during last year’s camp" (Bergen RECORD, 7/18). In Newark, Steve Politi wrote Shero "wants to open access to fans in unprecedented ways, and regardless of how the team does on the ice, that change is long overdue." Shero: "Developing our franchise off the ice is as important as developing it on the ice. The foundation that we're building has to include the fans." Politi wrote the Devils "almost have to get fans engaged in the future, because if the team goes about this process the right way, the present could be bleak for a while" (NJ.com, 7/17).