You may recall that, earlier this week, the Devils launched a campaign called "No Blue" to discourage their fans from selling tickets for Eastern Conference Finals games in Newark to Rangers fans, who have a history of invading the Prudential Center when the teams meet. The page on the team's website describing the campaign has since been taken down, but not before it was discussed and/or mocked by various outlets. (SportsNet has a screenshot of a portion of the original page.) Will there be plenty of Rangers fans in the building tomorrow afternoon? Almost certainly. But the Devils got the attention they wanted by posting it to their website in the first place. Among those who took notice: team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello. He did not approve.
"Every fan should feel safe coming to games here," said Lamoriello, via the Daily News. He also explicitly said he didn't like the team's campaign. Also from the News:
“I was very disappointed, very disappointed personally, when I heard about that,” Lamoriello said of the campaign. “It is my understanding that that is no longer out there.”
Of course, nothing in the campaign suggested that Rangers fans wouldn't be safe wearing their colors to the Prudential Center. The News article mentions that "Newark has long fought the stereotype of a dangerous city" — and brings up Barry Melrose's "Don’t go outside if you have a wallet or anything else" comment from 2007 — but we don't think that's what Lamoriello is talking about here. He's not so much making a comment on the safety of Newark as much as he's making the point that Rangers fans shouldn't have to worry about excessive abuse from Devils fans (even though nobody was suggesting they should worry about it, nor was the campaign suggesting they might want to worry about it). Perhaps he's just playing it safe — making sure Devils fans don't get any ideas, and also making sure to present the Prudential Center experience as a perfectly safe one. Or maybe he'd simply prefer that his organization not do anything to further stoke the flames of an already-intense rivalry between nearby fan bases. Either way, we'll note that plenty of seats are still available on the secondary market.