The 16th in our 118-part series.
In honor of his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, today we want to celebrate our very own Number 4. We came kind of late to the Scott Stevens party — by the time we became fans he had grown out of his “deranged, dangerous” phase, and was at the tail end of his “offensively potent” phase. But that’s okay, because we think we still got to enjoy the best years of him. The Scott Stevens we knew was the Stanley Cup Champion Stevens, the steady-as-a-rock Stevens, the hard-hitting-but-disciplined Stevens, the stalwart Stevens, the “Captain Dad” Stevens. Our buddy Morgan has been a Devils fan almost from the team’s start in Jersey, and he once regaled us of how he felt when he found out the Devils had acquired Scottie. He said he’d never been more excited about picking up a player, and hadn’t been since; the thing about Stevens coming to New Jersey wasn’t just that he was a superstar. It was the he was a superstar who fit the personality of the team. His arrival on the Devils was about more than having a big-name player to “legitimize” the team — he was finally the right player around whom to build a winning tradition.
We love Scottie for the big plays, the booming hits, and the savvy on the blueline. We love him for being, for all those years, the heart and soul of our team. And of course, we love him for the three Stanley Cups. But with all of that, we also love him for teaching a generation of Devils kids coming up through the system how to win as Devils.
So as we embark on the second year of the Elias Era, we look back today at the glory days of the Stevens era and say, “Congratulations, Scottie on the Hall of Fame thing, and a million thanks for being one of the reasons we love hockey.”