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Devils deliver for season ticket holders

Wednesday, 09.02.2009 / 6:12 PM / Features
By Eric Marin
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Devils deliver for season ticket holders
Gendel receiving his tickets from Rolston.
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newjerseydevils.com – Brian Rolston turned an ordinary weekday into a special occasion for lifelong Devils fan Jeffrey Gendel.

On Wednesday, Rolston traveled to Scarsdale, N.Y., to deliver Gendel's 2009-10 season tickets in person. Gendel arrived on a Metro-North train from Manhattan and found Rolston waiting to hand him a Devils package containing his tickets.

"It's fantastic," said Gendel, 42, as he was greeted at the train station by his son Jared, 6, and daughter Audrey, 5. He then wowed them with a pair of customized Rolston jerseys and Devils pucks that he had bought earlier at the NHL Store in midtown.

Several Devils players will be hand-delivering tickets to select lucky season ticket holders over the next week. The Devils open the regular season at home against Philadelphia on Saturday, Oct. 3.

Originally from Summit, N.J., Gendel has held season tickets since the club's 1982 arrival in the Garden State. He attended the first regular season game in Devils history with his father on Oct. 5, 1982, and has been hooked ever since.

Like so many other Devils fans, Gendel's favorite hockey moment is Game 4 of the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals, when he saw Jersey's Team sweep Detroit to capture its first title.

"It stills brings tears to my eyes today," he said, recalling how he later watched the footage of Mike Peluso crying on the bench as time ticked down in regulation. "That is the singular moment that will always stand out in my mind."

Rolston was there, too – as a 22-year-old rookie on the '95 squad.

"When you've been a season ticket holder as long as you have," Rolston told Gendel, "seeing the Stanley Cup is amazing."

Gendel described spending some of the best times of his life at Devils games with his father. He sat in section 110 at Continental Airlines Arena, then moved to section 22 when the club came to Newark's Prudential Center, where he currently shares the tickets with his father and brother.

"I want to be able to have that with my kids," he said. "To the extent that you can further endear them to the game or to the players, that's priceless. You can't put a price tag on the time that I had with my dad."

For all his own Devils memories, the face-to-face meeting with Rolston was something Gendel wanted his children to remember for years to come.

"When the players can get out there and interact with the fans, fans can see they're real people," he said. "It lets them see the players on a different level, and hopefully it makes them fans for life. That's what I want them to be: fans of the game, and fans of, hopefully, my team."

Gendel's wife, Wendy, arrived at the station just as the visit wrapped up. Even their relationship had a devilish twist: his friends knew she was going to be "the one" when Gendel presented her with her very own Devils jersey.

As much as the '95 Cup meant to him, Gendel proudly celebrates all of the Devils' achievements. He still loves watching the highlights from the championship runs in 2000 and 2003 – Scott Stevens' hits on Eric Lindros and Paul Kariya are his particular favorites.

"Those moments are etched in my mind and I smile when I think about it," he said. "When I go to the arena and I look up at those Stanley Cup banners, I say, 'They can never take them away from us.' We're so fortunate to have had the success that we've had as an organization."

He's hoping to be in the stands for a fourth Cup in 2010.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51