Back in 2011-2012, the New Jersey Devils made an unexpected run to the Stanley Cup Final. Since then, they haven’t even made the playoffs.
If that last deep run wasn’t the end of an era, then the 2015 off-season certainly stood as one, with long-time head honcho Lou Lamoriello making way for current GM Ray Shero.
In typical Devils fashion, New Jersey was scrappy last season, yet 2015-16 was rough. While they managed an “above .500 record” (38-36-8), they finished with the fifth-worst record in the East and unusually putrid possession numbers.
Trading in optimism
It isn’t all bad for the Devils and their fans, though.
In the case of Hall and Schneider in particular, they’re a great one-two punch of talent and value at $6 million apiece for the near future.
Trading Adam Larsson from their defense corps hurts, yet the Devils tend to manufacture defense better than most. Even so, that group stands as the biggest mystery.
Expectations might be muted in Newark, but don’t sleep on Hall and the increasingly promising Devils.