New Jersey Devils fall from grace

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Star forward Zach Parise decided to bolt to the Minnesota Wild; goalie Martin Brodeur was hurt at the beginning of the year; Ilya Kovalchuk was lost to injury; and youngsters Adam Larsson and Adam Henrique experienced sophomore slumps. For years, the Devils won championships regularly. They had Brodeur in net, a blue-line featuring the likes of Scott Stevens, Ken Daneyko, Scott Niedermayer and Brian Rafalski, and a balanced forward corps. However, it appears the Devils are about to go through a transition, one that will have its fair share of growing pains. GM Lou Lamoriello needs to find a replacement for Brodeur, who will not last forever. The most notable goaltending prospects in the system, Scott Wedgewood and Keith Kinkaid, are not considered blue-chippers, and the Devils don’t have the assets to trade for a Jonathan Bernier or Cory Schneider. As punishment for the Kovalchuk contract circumvention, the Devils are required to surrender a first-round selection in 2014 after choosing to hang on to this year’s pick. They had the option to forfeit the 29th pick last year, but Lamoriello kept it and selected winger Stefan Matteau. This will come back to haunt New Jersey, even though Matteau is projected to be a solid power forward at the NHL level. They have the potential to get a really good player with the top-10 pick this year, but what about next year if they finish in the bottom two in a deep 2014 draft and miss out on Aaron Ekblad or Sam Reinhart? source:

10 Things the New Jersey Devils Must Do in the 2013 Offseason

Ultimately, I think the Devils want him back but we will see just how much they do when all is said and done. 5. Let the rest of the unrestricted free agents walk The only player who I might bring back from the rest of the first list is defenseman Marek Zidlicky. I would only bring him back on a one year deal, however. There is no need for any of the others in 2013-14. 6. Bring back the restricted free agents All of the players in the restricted free agent category should be brought back. I would try to sign Adam Henrique to a long term contract, as well. 7. Use the amnesty buyout on Anton Volchenkov The amnesty buyout was instilled in the last NHL collective bargaining agreement. source:


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