NEWARK, N.J. (AP) John McMullen, who brought NHL hockey to New Jersey in 1982, will be the first inductee in the Devils' Ring of Honor.
The Devils will hold a pregame ceremony at Prudential Center on Friday night before their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
''As we approach the 35th anniversary of the New Jersey Devils, it is fitting to celebrate Dr. McMullen's vision, leadership and compassion, which set the foundation for three Stanley Cup championships,'' said Hugh Weber, the team's president.
McMullen, who died in 2005 at the age of 87, will be represented by his wife, Jacqueline, his son, Peter, and additional family members. The on-ice ceremony will feature a tribute video voiced over by Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike ''Doc'' Emrick and appearances by Devils alumni and management from the McMullen era, including: Ken Daneyko, Bruce Driver, Jim Dowd, Marshall Johnston, Lou Lamoriello, Claude Lemieux, John MacLean, Randy McKay, Glenn ''Chico'' Resch, Stephane Richer and Sergei Starikov.
McMullen purchased the Colorado Rockies in 1982 and moved the franchise to the Meadowlands, renaming the team the New Jersey Devils after a fan vote. The team relocated to Newark for the 2007-08 season.
The Devils' first two Stanley Cup championships in 1995 and 2000 were with McMullen as their owner. He helped pave the way for Soviet talent to enter the league. Prior to purchasing the Devils, Dr. McMullen was a limited partner of the New York Yankees. He was also the majority owner of the Houston Astros from 1979 to 1993.
In 2000, McMullen sold the Devils to Puck Holdings, an affiliate of YankeeNets, for $176 million. The team won its third Stanley Cup in 2003.