The New Jersey Devils join USA Hockey and National Hockey League in celebrating Hockey Week Across America, Feb. 17-24. In honor of its 12th anniversary, the Devils will host several youth hockey events promoting the NHL's Hockey Is For Everyone initiatives.
To jump-start the week on Sunday, February 17, the Devils will celebrate Hockey Day in America by Awarding Gary Hess as the 2019 Dr. John J. McMullen Service Award winner on Youth Hockey Night presented by RWJBarnabas Health. Gary Hess, a well-known and respected member of the New Jersey youth hockey community for over 30 years, passed away earlier this season at the age of 55. Most recently, Hess served as an assistant coach at St. Joseph (Montvale) High School and also served as the hockey director at Ramapo Saints and Sport-O-Rama. Gary developed many talented players both on and off the ice throughout his entire coaching career including Devils forward and NHL All-Star Kyle Palmieri. "Growing up in New Jersey, it's a huge honor to represent the Devils. There were many people who had an impact along the way and Gary was someone who helped me early on. I am happy that we're recognizing him as this year's Dr. McMullen Award winner, it's a tremendous honor for him and his family."
Throughout the remainder of the week, the New Jersey Devils will continue recognizing local youth hockey players, coaches, officials, rink partners and fans tying into Hockey Week Across America.
"I've been involved with the USA Hockey program as a player and a coach throughout my career and like to take the opportunity to give back," said Devils' Head Coach John Hynes. "It is great to see our organization supporting the program's efforts throughout Hockey Week Across America. The entire organization knows how important it is to build fans from an early age and to be a part of the grassroots efforts in our local youth hockey communities."