Vanderbeek Thanks Fans, Devils Fanbase Finally Turning The Corner?
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02-12-2013, 08:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New Jersey
The mutual hatred between the Devils and the Canes is why I loved the part of the proposed realignment that put Washington and Carolina in the Atlantic. DC is a natural geographic rival and there is a lot of history between Carolina and NJ. They'd be welcomed into the division well.
The playoff run turned my yonuger brother from a casual into an avid (not quite hardcore) fan and my dad from apathetic into a casual. The youth hockey dimension is big to NJ's grwoth too. NJ has a fairly robust (but not as big as it could be) youth hockey culture whose exposure to the Devils through those free ticket givaways cement them as fans. Youth hockey needs to spread from its hotbeds in Morris and West Essex Counties though and become more of a thing still though. More rinks are needed in Bergen County in particular, the county in NJ with the most Rags fans probably. Urban hockey culture might get there some day too. Besides Amerihealth, Newark has a rink in the Ironbound and HiN has managed to get a travel team together as well as a team at East Side High School. This exposes new demographics to the game which is a key in rapidly diversifying NJ. We are on pace to be the next state after Maryland (which is next in line) to reach "minority-majority" status, with whites making up less than 50% of the population. Hockey can't only be the game of suburban white kids in Morris County anymore.
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