As you’ve probably heard already, Gentle Reader, the Devils opened their new arena on Saturday night. Being the hard-nosed journalist-types we are, we opted to stay home and watch it from the comfort of our couch, but we can imagine what sorts of fancy bells and whistles The Rock is sporting. Sure, everyone’s been reporting on the things like the various swanky lounges, the 732 flat-screen TVs, the cinderblock pillar-free home dressing room and the easily accessed public transportation, but what IPB is here to help you discover is the things no one is talking about. Here’s a look at some of the less publicized amenities the Devils and staffers will enjoy in their new home:
1. A 20-man hot tub; The Ralph Engelstad Arena no longer holds standard for multi-man hot tubs with its 12-man tub. This new one in The Rock blew Zach Parise’s mind.
2. A foeces-free all-you-can-eat oyster bar that finally lets Patrik Elias indulge his greatest passion in a food-safe and Hepatitis-free environment. On paper this seems like it should be a marked improvement over the foeces-ridden oyster bar at Continental Airlines Arena that was catered by Crazy Ivan’s Sheremetyevo Airport Foecal Oyster Shack, but in practice, Elias has been demonstrably petulant about the change.
3. 732 whiteboards, all with titillating behind-the-scenes information on them such as “Bus is at 5:15″. The whiteboards are strategically placed so that there isn’t a single spot in the arena where a person can stand without being able to clearly read at least one.
4. Sprite machines in the Devils dressing room, training room and players’ lounge, all featuring graphics of scary, anthropomorphized Sprite bottles and cans. There are also Sprite machines installed in several electrical rooms and janitor’s closets just in case Marty Brodeur gets lost on his way to the dressing room and feels the need to quench his thirst.
5. A hologram machine at the practice rink that generates a perfect facsimile of the head coach so the players can harmlessly shoot pucks at him during practice.
6. A man-sized humidor in the broadcast booth for Chuck The Duck’s cigars.
7. An underground parking lot for the players that has cleverly been designed with low enough clearance that gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks can’t get in. This is part of the new arena’s sneaky “greening” of hockey in North Jersey, the first step of which was to make it nearly impossible to get to and from the place without taking public transportation.
8. A extremely low-speed treadmill in turtle size in the weight room to allow Boxworthy to maintain his fitness regimen without having to request time off from his employer to visit a gym.
9. A huge bin of bells and whistles at the entrance of the Devils players lounge, for all the players’ bell-and-whistle needs. Several players are already so excited about this amenity that Travis Zajac, perhaps still smarting over his failure to crack the lineup of the Greater Winnipeg Metro Area Panpipe Corps, has posted a sign-up sheet above the bin for auditions for the Greater Devils Players Lounge Area Bell Choir And Whistle Corps.
10. A dressing room devoid of any memories of Scott Gomez.