The rebuilding needs to start now. While the Devils played better than I thought on their road trip to Chicago and Nashville, the result of 0 points was exactly what I thought they would get. It doesn’t matter how they’ve arrived to 4 straight losses, it just matters that they arrived there and that they are probably the worst Devils team we’ve seen in some time. I can’t be the only worried about how they will play against the leagues worst team tomorrow night can I?
The time to start trying to unload some of your “talent” is now. As much as Steve Cangialosi likes to keep mentioning the Devils shot at the playoffs during broadcasts, the reality is they don’t have a shot. There isn’t enough talent on this team to compete and pull off the miracle of all miracles. I just question if there is anyone on the roster that would actually be wanted by another hockey team.
I had a short list of players that I deemed “untouchable” but now that list has gotten much shorter. In fact, there is 1 name on that list and the rest can go. Sure, some (Henrique, Larsson, Greene) would be a much higher cost that others (Zubrus, Ryder, Harrold) but if your name isn’t Cory Schneider then I’d say your time in New Jersey could be short.
I wouldn’t expect huge players in return and if fact, I would really only expect draft picks but that’s the point. I don’t think it’s realistic to believe that the Devils will land McDavid or Eichel because that kind of thing just never really happens for New Jersey (Sure, Kirk Muller was a great number 2 but he didn’t turn out to be better than Mario Lemieux) The Devils need to just start getting any picks they can while figuring out what kids can come up from Albany and be players and stayers in the NHL.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to look at the UFA market this summer but it can’t be the only focus and game plan. Solid defencemen like Johnny Boychuk and Johnny Oduya should hit the UF market but how expensive an option those two would be is something only time will tell. Letting your kids gain NHL experience should be the first step.
I do question if Lou is the guy to actually fix the problems he’s created in New Jersey. If he stays quiet between now and March 2nd, then I will firmly believe that his time should be over. The Devils certainly need to fix their coaching situation at the end of the 2014-15 season. It’s hard to know what kind of job Scott Stevens is doing with the defense since he has to put up with guys like Harrold and Fayne consistently making the lineup but Adam Oates can just go. He didn’t do well in Washington and his offense has certainly left a lot to be desired since taking over for Peter DeBoer. While I was one that wanted a coaching change earlier in the season, DeBoer wasn’t completely at fault as he didn’t have much to work with.
Let’s face it, the Devils are a mess and there is no quick fix. Rebuilding takes time and that’s something that Lou should have addressed last summer at the very latest. I’d be ok with a losing season if it was due to letting the kids play to gain experience while building towards something but right now, the Devils continue to lose and the future looks very bleak because they don’t appear to have anyone that they are looking to turn to.
What are your thoughts? Who, if anyone, would you keep?