Well hello, it’s been a while!! I actually didn’t expect to be here but after talking with the owners of Bloguin, the network that runs this site, it was best thought I should return to this site since it was idle all summer. So here I am, back writing about the New Jersey Devils on the site I originally started 4 years ago.
Speaking of summer, Labor Day always marks the end of summer and the time to start thinking about NHL Training Camps. Where shall we begin? The 2013 off-season for the Devils was certainly one to remember. In fact, I’m not sure I remember a more active off-season in the Devils recent years. In case you missed any of it because I know many fans (including the folks I had given this blog over to) checked out months ago when the Devils missed the playoffs, here is a quick recap.
- Devils acquire Cory Schneider at the NHL Entry Draft which was an amazing way to start the off-season for NJ. With a Marty/Cory tandem, the 2013/2014 season looked to have a very positive outlook.
- David Clarkson signed with Toronto. He was a decent player but no way can ANYONE convince me the money he got in Toronto is justified. He got Top 6 money (maybe even top 3 money) but he’s not a Top 6 forward. This wasn’t a shock to the system since I think everyone knew he would go to Toronto if the Leafs wanted him.
- The Devils signed Ryan Clowe, Michael Ryder and Rostislav Olesz in the opening days of Free Agency. Nothing earth shattering here but decent pickups with some good experience, especially Ryder. (maybe the Clowe contract is a bit more than I would have liked to spend but he should be a suitable replacement for Clarkson.
- BOMBSHELL OF THE SUMMER – Ilya Kovalchuk Retires from the NHL…for now anyway. He walked away for the Devils, from the NHL and from all that money but will probably return one day. I’m still not convinced that Lou didn’t have something to do with this. Kovy was a great player but for me, he never fit well into the Devils organization. Ownership was changing, Lou hated that contract from day 1 and a small hit on the cap if he retired now are all reasons I say Lou had something to do with it. (That reminds me, I should really get Kovy off the banner!!)
- Jaromir Jagr signs a 1 year deal with the NJ Devils. To this day I’m still unsure about this. I’ve hated this player for most of his career because I thought he always had a me first attitude but now that he’s playing for NJ, maybe I can find a way to like him? The positive of him being here is that he should be a great mentor to the young guys and hopefully a player that puts up a lot of assists. I don’t expect a lot of goal scoring from him.
- The New Jersey Devils are sold to a group led by Josh Harris and David Blitzer. Vanderbeek will retain a small minority ownership stake and a role in the organization. Let’s be honest here, this HAD to happen. Vanderbeek hasn’t really done a lot of good for this organization. He made Lou go after Kovy which cost us Parise, built a nice stadium in Newark but at a pretty hefty cost. It’s become clear that sometimes fans have no business owning teams.
- The NHL announced the the Devils will play the Rangers in Yankee Stadium on Jan 26, 2014. Some might say that’s awesome and some might say that having so many outdoor game now has just ruined the original vision of the Winter Classic. If you’re one who feels the original vision has been ruined, I am right there with you but there’s a small part of me that is a little excited to see the NJ Devils outdoors.
- Devils ink Adam Henrique to a 6 year deal. AWESOMESAUCE since Henrique is currently my favorite NJ Devil.
So that’s about it for the New Jersey Devils. In the upcoming days as we count down the days until training camp, I will be writing about my expectations on the 2013/2014 New Jersey Devils.