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NJ Devils Road Trip to Carolina First to Include Players Dads



On the New Jersey Devils upcoming road trip to Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday the team will be having a fathers and sons bonding trip.

Under former General Manager, Lou Lamoriello’s reign the organization did not really entertain the idea, which makes this a little bit of new territory to them. New General Manager Ray Shero implemented the idea during his days with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The fathers get to experience some of the things a National Hockey League player goes through on the road, while the sons get the chance to relive their childhood memories of when their dads brought them to those practices back then.

This past week the Devils welcomed the fathers to join their sons in this experience. At Wednesday morning’s practice the fathers were surprised with a jersey hanging in their son’s locker stall and goodie bag with some Devils swag. Everyone then headed out to board the team charter flight down to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Following a little game day breakfast at the team hotel, Thursday morning it was off to the PNC Arena for the morning skate. For the game later that evening the fathers will be watching it together from a suite inside of the arena.

On, Devils beat writer Rich Chere wrote that it is a little difficult to figure out if the players, staff or the 36 fathers are more excited for the trip. In talking about his father John’s level of excitement, Devils Center Adam Henrique told, “He is excited. It will be a neat experience.”

He added, “I think a lot of guys are excited and obviously a lot of the dads are excited. We have not had one here before, so it will be fun.” Henrique also said, “He was always there. He always drove me to games and early practices. And they made a lot of boring two-hour drives down to Windsor.”

Mike Cammalleri told, “I have only had one of these. I was with Calgary and we were playing in Los Angeles and Anaheim. My dad, Leo, is pumped.”

Cammalleri added, “It is cool, everyone has their own story, but for most of us, our dads have probably been the main influence on us in our hockey lives. You grew up with them watching every game and every practice and bringing you to the rink. It has that kind of feel to it. It gives you that feeling like you are a kid again and he gets to share this with you on an intimate level.”

On his father, Montvale, New Jersey native, Kyle Palmeri added, “We had a couple of these when I was with Anaheim. So this is not his first one, but he is definitely excited for it. I think the first one is pretty eye-opening for the dads to see what goes on and what your day-to-day life is like.”

Palmeri also said, “In the Eastern Conference it is a little different because you have a little easier travel. I know my dad, after a three game trip through the Central Division last year, was pretty tired after it. It takes a toll on you.”

When Cory Schneider was on the Vancouver Canuks he said that they never did a trip for the fathers, but they did do one for the brothers. He told that his father is excited for his first trip.

Backup goalie Keith Kinkaid told, that his father, John is “pretty pumped” for the trip. He added, “It is pretty cool, because growing up he was always on the trips. Then when you get to a certain age, they just come for the games. They do not get to experience the game day and whatever else comes along with it. So it will be cool to show what a day on the road is like.”

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