5 Hall of Famers With Surprising New Jersey Devils Ties

Mar 20, 2009; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Patrik Elias (26) talks to Referee Bill McCreary (7) during the third period at the Prudential Center. The Devils defeated the Wild 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 20, 2009; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Patrik Elias (26) talks to Referee Bill McCreary (7) during the third period at the Prudential Center. The Devils defeated the Wild 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils
NHL President John Ziegler addresses the media. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

1. John Ziegler – 1987 Induction

This one might be obvious to some, but many Devils fans might not recognize the name John Ziegler. He was the NHL President for 15 years until 1992. Only six people ever have held the title since 1917. However, Ziegler’s tenure has one strange incident that will hang over his career for a long time. It’s not the increased labor unrest, adding four teams from the WHL (including Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers), and the first American to serve as NHL President, it’s how he reacted to the “have another donut” incident.

During the 1988 Eastern Conference Finals between the Devils and Boston Bruins, Devils coach Jim Schoenfeld had an altercation with referee Don Koharski after the game, in which he told him to “have another donut.” While, it’s the first pivitol moment in Devils history, what happened after is just wild.

Ziegler suspended Schoenfeld for Game 4 of the series, but Lamoriello would not take that lying down. He did everything to track down the NHL President. He called him anywhere he could think of, tried contacting people in his office (who refused to release his whereabouts), and eventually, he went to court who ruled that Schoenfeld was fine to coach that night.

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The disappearing act ended after courts got involved. Ziegler returned to his post and held a hotel meeting with all the parties involved. After the referees claimed they were pushed, New York Post’s Larry Brooks (who worked for Lou Lamoriello at the time), wrote that Lamoriello played them a copy of the incident and asked (told) them to amend their statements. Schoefeld was still suspended for verbally abusing an official, and the Devils lost the series. Lamoriello attempted to coach for Schoefeld, and the Devils lost 7-1. Who knows what happens if Schoefeld is never suspended.