This is part of New Jersey Devils day at PHT…
For two decades between 1990 and 2010 the New Jersey Devils were regulars in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, qualifying for the postseason 19 times and winning three Stanley Cups.
In the six years since, they have qualified for the playoffs just once (a Stanley Cup Final run in 2012) and have fallen short in each of the past four seasons thanks in large part to an offense that has consistently finished near the bottom of the NHL during that stretch. It is the first time since the 1980s, just after the franchise’s move from Colorado, that they have missed the playoffs four years in a row.
General manager Ray Shero attempted to address that glaring weakness trading defenseman Adam Larsson to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Taylor Hall, one of the game’s best left wingers, and taking a chance on one of his former prospects in Pittsburgh, winger Beau Bennett. They will be joining a roster that will be getting Mike Cammalleri back after he was limited to just 42 games a year ago due to injury, Adam Henrique, and Kyle Palmieri, a young winger that is coming off of a breakout season that saw him score 30 goals.
With Cory Schneider in net the Devils have one of the NHL’s truly elite goalies and a player that is going to do his part to keep opposing teams off the scoreboard as long as he is in the lineup. He has consistently given them playoff worthy goaltending since joining the team.
What will make or break their 2016-17 season will be whether or not they can improve an offense that failed to score more than two goals in 49 of their 82 games a year ago.
So, with the additions of Hall, Bennett, the return of a healthy Cammalleri, and perhaps the arrival of top prospect Pavel Zacha did the Devils do enough to improve their offense and get back into the playoffs this upcoming season?