Thirty-five years after he brought NHL hockey to New Jersey, including two Stanley Cup Championships under his watch, Dr. John J. McMullen will be celebrated by the Devils as the team's first Ring of Honor inductee. The Devils will hold a pregame ceremony at Prudential Center on January 6 at 7:30 p.m. before a special 7:48 p.m. puck drop vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs. Tickets are available at NewJerseyDevils.com/tickets and the first 9,000 Devils fans through the doors will receive a commemorative Ring of Honor pin.
"As we approach the 35th Anniversary of the New Jersey Devils, it is fitting to celebrate Dr. McMullen's vision, leadership and compassion, which set the foundation for three Stanley Cup championships," said Hugh Weber, President of the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center. "The Devils' tradition of excellence on the ice, including an iconic style of play and Hall of Fame caliber players, and ongoing impact on youth hockey, would not have been possible without Dr. McMullen and his passion for the sport."
Dr. McMullen, who passed away in 2005 at the age of 87, will be represented by his wife, Jacqueline, his son, Peter, and additional family members. The on-ice ceremony will feature a tribute video voiced over by Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick and appearances by Devils alumni and management from the McMullen era, including: Ken Daneyko, Bruce Driver, Jim Dowd, Marshall Johnston, Lou Lamoriello, Claude Lemieux, John MacLean, Randy McKay, Glenn "Chico" Resch, Stephane Richer and Sergei Starikov.
During the ceremony, the Devils and the City of Newark will officially announce the dedication of the stretch of Lafayette Street adjacent to Prudential Center between Broad Street and Mulberry Street.
"Dad felt a great deal of pride in bringing a team to New Jersey, where he was a native son," said Peter McMullen. "The energy of having a pro franchise with the name New Jersey in it is very important, and it's been a really positive result for the Garden State."
To celebrate the night and to honor Dr. McMullen's first Stanley Cup win in 1995, the Devils will wear their current white jerseys for the game. The alumni present for the ceremony will wear the team's original white, red and green sweaters. The players and alumni will also sport a limited edition patch in honor of Dr. McMullen.
Dr. McMullen purchased the Colorado Rockies in 1982 and moved the franchise to the Meadowlands, renaming the team the New Jersey Devils after a fan vote, where they played through the 2006-07 season before relocating to Newark. Dr. McMullen presided over the Devils' first two Stanley Cup championships in 1995 and 2000, and was widely known as one of the most innovative owners in the NHL, paving the way for Soviet talent to enter the league. Prior to purchasing the Devils, Dr. McMullen was a limited partner of the New York Yankees. He was also the majority owner of the Houston Astros from 1979 to 1993.
A native of Montclair, N.J., Dr. McMullen received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, and served in the Navy from 1936 to 1954, rising to the rank of Commander. During his service, he earned a Master of Science degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from MIT and a Doctor of Mechanical Engineering degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.