The New Jersey Devils are a professional hockey team based in Newark, New Jersey, that competes in the National Hockey League (NHL). They are members of the league's Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference. The club was founded in Kansas City, Missouri as the Kansas City Scouts in 1974, moved after two seasons to Denver, where they were known as the Colorado Rockies, then established itself in New Jersey in 1982. For their first 25 seasons in New Jersey, the Devils were based at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford and played their home games at Brendan Byrne Arena. Prior to the 2007–08 season, the Devils relocated to Newark and now play their home games at the Prudential Center.
The franchise had been poor to mediocre in the eight years before moving to New Jersey. The pattern continued in its first five years in New Jersey as they failed to make the playoffs and never finished higher than fifth in their division. Their fortunes began to turn around following the hiring of current president and general manager Lou Lamoriello in 1987. Under Lamoriello's stewardship, the Devils made the Stanley Cup playoffs all but three times between 1988 and 2012, including thirteen berths in a row from 1997 to 2010, and finished with a winning record every season from 1992–93 to 2009–10. The Devils have reached the Stanley Cup Finals five times, winning in 1994–95, 1999–00 and 2002–03.
The Devils were known for their defense-first approach throughout their years of Cup contention, but have moved towards a more offensive style. The Devils have a rivalry with their cross-Hudson River neighbor, the New York Rangers, as well as a rivalry with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Devils won the Atlantic Division regular season title nine times, most recently in 2009–10, before transferring to the newly created Metropolitan Division as part of the NHL's realignment in 2013.
Prudential Center is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the central business district of Newark, New Jersey, United States. It was designed by HOK Sport (now Populous), with the exterior designed by Morris Adjmi Architects. Opened in 2007, it is the home of the National Hockey League's (NHL) New Jersey Devils and the NCAA's Seton Hall Pirates men's basketball team. The arena seats 17,625 patrons for hockey and 18,711 for basketball. Fans and sports writers have affectionately nicknamed the arena "The Rock" in reference to the Rock of Gibraltar, the corporate logo of Prudential Financial, a financial institution that owns the naming rights to the arena and is headquartered within walking distance of it. In December 2013, the arena ranked third nationally and ninth internationally for self-reported annual revenue.
The arena was built amidst financial concerns and years of speculation that the Devils would relocate, despite the fact that the team was a perennial playoff contender and was often at or near the top of the NHL's standings for nearly two decades. The arena is located two blocks from Newark Penn Station in downtown Newark, just west of Newark's Ironbound district, making it easily accessible via New Jersey Transit, PATH, Newark Light Rail, and Amtrak. At the time of its opening, Prudential Center was the first major league sports venue to be built in the New York metropolitan area since the Brendan Byrne Arena, the Devils' former home, opened in 1981. The Prudential Center has played an important role in the revitalization of downtown Newark.