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Harris, Blitzer named 'Most Influential' in N.J. sports

Monday, 08.18.2014 / 10:19 AM / News
New Jersey Devils
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Harris, Blitzer named \'Most Influential\' in N.J. sports
Devils\' owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer named most influential people in N.J. sports


Josh Harris (l.) and David Blitzer are introduced as the Devils' new owners on Aug. 15, 2013. (GETTY IMAGES)


What a difference a year makes.

Just 12 months after purchasing the Devils and Prudential Center, Josh Harris and David Blitzer have been named the most influential people in New Jersey sports by The Star-Ledger.

The duo, which also owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, topped the paper’s annual “Juice List” after being ranked 12th last year. The announcement came just over a month before the Devils’ preseason opener on Sept. 22.

"They top the list because of what they're planning to do with the team, from transforming the fan experience to investing in new ways to improve hockey operations, and how they hope that their investment has a lasting impact on the growth of the franchise's home city itself,” wrote Star-Ledger columnist Steve Politi.

The Devils' front office claimed three of the 25 spots on the list: President and GM Lou Lamoriello moved up one spot this year to fifth, while Devils/Prudential Center/Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil was 13th.

Introduced as Devils owners last Aug. 15, Harris and Blitzer have worked to boost season ticket sales and improve the Prudential Center experience.

But the upgrades haven't stopped there. The Devils have also made key roster moves this summer, re-signing leading scorer Jaromir Jagr and bringing in veteran forwards Mike Cammalleri and Marty Havlat. The backbone of the defense was bolstered with long-term deals to Cory Schneider and Andy Greene.

“It was a disappointing season,” Harris told The Star-Ledger. “I was unhappy. I didn't like being home watching the playoffs on TV. I wanted to be in the playoffs. It's not lost to me. At the same time, good people and good systems can have disappointing years, and we're focused on making this a successful franchise over the long term.”

The Devils begin the 2014-15 regular season in Philadelphia on Oct. 9. The home opener is set for Oct. 18 against San Jose.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 61 26 31 4 157 191 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 62 25 32 5 170 189 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
M. Cammalleri 51 23 10 4 33
A. Henrique 56 12 20 -1 32
P. Elias 53 10 16 -13 26
S. Gomez 39 5 18 -9 23
M. Zidlicky 63 4 19 -7 23
T. Zajac 55 10 10 -4 20
S. Bernier 48 10 8 1 18
M. Ryder 44 6 12 -2 18
A. Larsson 45 2 16 3 18
M. Havlat 38 5 9 -12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 23 23 6 .927 2.19
K. Kinkaid 3 4 3 .915 2.59