I have to be honest. My gut reaction to seeing these masks was "oh my god, these are so cool". These masks are so awesome that they took me back to talking like a middle schooler. More importantly, they can be treated as just another reminder that the current Devils brass has no intention of letting go of the franchise's history.
I think the biggest concern Devils' fans had when the organization underwent a facelift that would make the corpse of Joan Rivers blush (Too soon? Whatever, she would appreciate the joke) was that they would lose a sense of it's decorated past. If these helmets -as well as the extravaganza that was 'Martin Brodeur Night'- are any indication then that couldn't be further from the truth. I think deep down a vast majority of Devils' fans knew that change was necessary. The team had grown old, stale, and -for the first time in two decades- unsuccessful. It was time to start over, but without destroying the winning culture that had been so meticulously built since the mid 90's. Well, Ray Shero and John Hynes look to have stuck to the foundation that helped the Devils win three Stanley Cups. It might be a little faster and a little more attacking, but this team still relies primarily on it's goaltending and defense. The new ownership group, while making countless changes (most of which have been nothing short of excellent), was responsible for having a Marty statue constructed for outside the arena and had the entire current roster donning #30 jerseys for warm-ups on Tuesday night. It appears that the more things change the more they actually do stay the same, and that's quite the relief for fans that have grown up admiring everything the New Jersey Devils stood for. Oh, and did I mention how goddamn cool these masks are?