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Patrik Elias (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

Patrik Elias (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

My childhood is really taking a beating this last few years…Marty, Derek, Mo… now Patrik Elias have all retired.  After 18 seasons in New Jersey he is hanging up the skates and beginning his post career life. He will have a great send-off though, he will skate one last time at the Rock on April 8 before the Devils take on the Islanders for their last home game of season.

To be honest, we all knew it was coming as he had not come back at all during the 2016-17 season…but just like any great player’s retirement, we don’t want to see it happen.  In fact, I am hoping tomorrow he just says April Fools and practices for our game against Philly on Tuesday.

Patrik Elias was one of those players that made a team.  He always looked ready to battle.  He even broke Jaromir Jagr’s reign with the Golden Hockey Stick.  How many players can say the broke a Jagr streak?

Elias’ name is etched into two Stanley Cups and he has a bronze medal from the Winter Olympics.  He is also one of the most decorated Devils, holding records in points, goals, and assists.  Whether he was captain or just a leader on the team, his presence was always known and missed when he was out of the line-up.

Anyone who has ever watched a Devils game with me knows my love of Elias.  When I say Elias, I say it like E.T. saying Elliot. I didn’t grow up a Devils fans, I grew up in and Islander house.  After the ’94 playoffs, I started following the Devils.  When Elias joined the team, I fell in love with the Devils.  I will miss #26 greatly.

The Devils, have already announced that his number will be hanging from the rafters in the next season.  There are also rumblings around social media and blogs, that another statue is going to be added to The Rock.  Could it be for Elias? However the Devils choose to immortalize Elias (and they will), it will be fitting.

Thank You Patrik for your years in Red & White (and sometimes Green).  I will always have my memories…and supposedly a signed puck my dad swears exists in his house (I have never seen it).

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Kelly is the New Jersey Devils Lead Writer and Rugby Analyst for Double G Media. She is also the site's Social Media Manager.
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