New Jersey Devils: Joe Tolentino Deserves Better As PA Announcer

The New Jersey Devils will be searching for a new public address announcer for the upcoming 2022-23 NHL season after Joe Tolentino announced on his Instagram account that he would not be returning.

As you know, Tolentino won the announcer job last October after the Devils reached out to the public. They asked the fanbase to make their decision on the next PA announcer after encouraging Devils fans to submit their video for a chance to be the next voice of the Prudential Center. It immediately became a polarizing topic and participants across the country, including myself, were being considered for a chance of a lifetime.

Then came the first cut and the top ten finalists were announced. Social media blew up and drew a tremendous amount of attention. Some were good, but for some of the finalists, including myself, it was downright toxic and mean. It is one thing to have an opinion, but it is another to belittle and be hurtful to your fellow Devils fan.

I am speaking up about this now because Joe Tolentino deserves much better than the way he had been treated by some of this fanbase on social media. I know the feeling because I only got the appetizer version of what he had to endure while Tolentino got the three-course meal. Throughout it all, Tolentino was 100% professional and always had a smile on his face when doing his job.

Let’s look at this from a logical standpoint. The Devils were late to announce who the top three finalists were. They were late to give everyone a chance to do preseason games. From what we understand, there wasn’t a real mentor helping him out. He was on an island trying to get through the negativity. That’s like someone getting taken off the street and being asked to play on Jack Hughes’s wing. Going from no experience to professional is near impossible.

He represented us well and lived out a childhood dream that he appreciated every day when he sat behind the microphone while never doing this before in his life at a professional level. This is all you could ever ask for in a Devils’ P.A. announcer!

Devils fans, you should be proud of what Tolentino accomplished against all odds. Despite the heavy criticisms, he never quit on the Devils organization and showed up to the games by putting his best foot forward. You should truly admire how he conducted himself in a positive manner and persevered through 42 home games. That is not easy to do.

On that note, congratulations Joe and we hope to see you at the Rock soon!