NHL Franchise Notes: Devils Keeping Business, Hockey Ops Separate
In New Jersey, Abbey Mastracco noted Devils President Jake Reynolds "made it clear that things will continue to operate as they did under" newly promoted Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment President Hugh Weber. The team's "business side and the hockey ops side will remain separate entities that coexist peacefully and cooperatively." Reynolds' background is in "business and sales," while Exec VP & GM Ray Shero has a hockey background, so Reynolds will "let Shero continue to run the hockey operations as he sees fit." What Reynolds "wants to see is ticket sales go up and prestige return to New Jersey." Reynolds said the team is "seeing dramatic growth," and ticket sales are "growing double digits" (Bergen RECORD, 9/30).
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT: In St. Paul, Dane Mizutani wrote the "feeling of doom and gloom that once pervaded" the Wild organization has "all but disappeared." That "fresh look has everything to do" with new GM Bill Guerin, who was hired in August. Guerin "basically is the antithesis" of former GM Paul Fenton in the way that he "operates and already has breathed life" into the team. Wild Owner Craig Leipold said, "This guy fits unbelievably. He's exactly what we needed. He has the attention of everybody in the room. All the comments, everything I've heard, it's all been so positive" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 9/30).
SWEATER SZN: Bruins President Cam Neely confirmed that the team "will indeed have new third jerseys set to be unveiled in November." New jerseys were leaked on Twitter in August, though those specific designs have not been confirmed. The leaked jerseys are not the "famous 'pooh bear' sweaters many fans are fond of," and are "somewhat similar" to the '19 Winter Classic jerseys (NBCSPORTSBOSTON.com, 10/1).