He's known simply as Jimmy D.
He never played or coached, but Jim Devellano has lived his life
in hockey and is one of the most respected executives in the game.
He is the owner of 14 championship rings, seven of which are for
Stanley Cup wins-three with the New York Islanders and four with
the Detroit Red Wings-and he has been instrumental in building the
teams that won them.
From his humble beginnings in the working-class neighborhood of
Cabbagetown in Toronto of the 1940s, to the years of glory and
parades in Hockeytown, Jimmy D. has seen it all along the way.
The Road to Hockeytown gives a rare glimpse inside the
world of hockey from an unusual perspective-through the eyes of one
of the game's greatest executives.
This candid, personal account of Jim Devellano's life and his
more than 40 incredible years in the game of hockey gives an
insider's insight into the business and personalities of the game
and a behind-the-scenes look at what the players and coaches are
really like; how they are assessed, hired, and fired; how decisions
are made on draft day; and how deals and trades really get
Since he broke into the NHL in 1967 as a volunteer scout with
the St. Louis Blues, he's seen the league expand from six teams to
thirty, and been at the forefront of the game's development. He was
instrumental in hiring talented coaches such as Al Arbour with the
New York Islanders and Scotty Bowman in Detroit, and in assembling
one of the very first strong European scouting staffs. He was at
the center of the wheeling and dealing that brought a crop of
talented Russians like Sergei Fedorov, Slava Kozlov, and Vladimir
Konstantinov from behind the Iron Curtain to the NHL. And, as a
minority owner of Maple Leaf Gardens stock, was caught in the
middle of the very public power struggle for the Gardens after
Harold Ballard's death.
On his watch with three different teams, he's brought an
all-star lineup of players into the NHL, including Denis Potvin,
Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies, Bob Probert, Nicklas
Lidstrom, Kelly Hrudey, Vladimir Konstantinov, Sergei Fedorov,
Chris Osgood, and Steve Yzerman (his very first draft pick as GM!).
The first person hired by Mike and Marian Ilitch in 1982, he's seen
the Red Wings go from the basement of the NHL to the pride of
Detroit and been a key part of that amazing turnaround.
Jimmy D. has left his indelible mark on the game of hockey
everywhere he has gone, from Cabbagetown to Hockeytown. As told to
veteran journalist and broadcaster Roger Lajoie, The Road to
Hockeytown is a fascinating memoir of a life lived in