It's not common that there's some New Jersey Devils business during the season that is strictly, well, business. However, the Devils announced today at a press conference that the team and the Prudential Center have agreed to a a partnership deal with Barnabas Health. The biggest immediate impact from this news is the name of the practice rink. No more AmeriHealth Pavilion. The NWHL's Isobel Cup was the last event - I think - that happened under that name. The teams and the hundreds that attended - it's a small venue - can say they closed out the old name. The building will now be called the Barnabas Health Hockey House.
OK, it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue but I do like the Deviled 'Y' on the sign.
The partnership also means that Barnabas Health's announced nutrition program, Fueling Healthy Athletes and Sports Nutrition Curriculum, will be flowed down to the teams, players, and team's staff that use the practice rink. They will also be working with the team in various other community efforts such as the Little Devils Youth Fan Club, the NJ High School championships and others. In other words, this partnership is more than just getting a name on a practice facility. Get ready to see more of the Barnabas Health logo involved with Devils events. In fact, you can already see it on their practice jerseys.
I hope this is only for the announcement and perhaps the day. If this is more permanent, then I fear this is pretty much the opening for non-jersey manufacturer ads to appear on jerseys. No offense to Barnabas Health or the Devils, but I would say down with this sort of thing. But that's a topic for another time and another post.
Incidentally, the last part of the team's announcement at the official Devils' site is also notable. Apparently, Robert Wood Johnson will be merging with Barnabas Health soon, which should make for a very large health care system. I wonder if that will lead to a new name and logo? It states the merger will result in the organization being called RWJ Barnabas Health. I suppose they can just add it on. We'll see. I can't help but think this played a role as to why this partnership was pursued.
In any case, it's goodbye AmeriHealth. Welcome Barnabas Health to the fold and get used to calling the practice rink the Barnabas Health Hockey House. Or, the BH House. Or the BHHH. Or the BH^3. Either way, it's a big deal for the team and hopefully a fruitful one for both sides.