New Jersey Devils fans labeled Patrik Elias "a winner," an "everyday superstar," "humble," "a regular guy," "a class act."
Elias is all of that, and more. He’s a two-time Stanley Cup champion, and a record setter, holding nearly every scoring record in Devils franchise history, including the most goals, assists and points in both the regular season (408-617-1025) and playoffs (45-80-125).
Above all, Elias, 41, is loyal, having worn the same logo on the front of his jersey from his National Hockey League debut on Dec. 7, 1995, through his final game on April 9, 2016.
Thus, it was only fitting that Elias became the first forward and fifth player in Devils history to have his jersey retired when his No. 26 was raised to the rafters of "The Rock" on Feb. 24, joining defensemen Scott Stevens (No. 4), Ken Daneyko (No. 3) and Scott Niedermayer (No. 27), as well as goaltender Martin Brodeur (No. 30), in the organization’s exclusive club.
Equally proper was Elias’ entrance on his special night in Newark, which ended with the Devils defeating the New York Islanders, 2-1, improving their record to 5-0-0 on nights the club retires a number.