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eaglejelly

OFF-SEASON GAME PLAN: NEW JERSEY DEVILS

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Well at least TSN is saying what most of us have been for a while now. No sense sugar coating Marty's last few years.

I still contend that this team is in need of a full-on rebuild, but I think a retooling (read: signing some players with offense talent) could get the Devils back in the post season.

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Lol. He added Boyle at 6m. .. ok.

If the off season comes and goes and the only thing we add is a defenseman, I'm throwing myself off a building

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Alexander Urbom is huge and got into 20 games with the Washington Capitals, after he was claimed on waivers last season, but he returned to the Devils' organization, remaining a viable depth option on the blueline.

 

I lol'd.

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I still think that if everyone plays like they should this team is better then most people think or what they showed at times last season. We've got a very good goalie and a competent defense at worst to a top 7 at its playing best, this team should have made the playoffs considering how no one else in the east was running away with those spots at times last season. Other then a miracle signing of Paul Stastny in the off season I don't see free agency being a huge upgrade over what we got right now and trust/pray those signed last off season play as they should (Ryder and Brunner picking up the slack getting 20 goals plus each which I don't think is unreasonable).

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I lol'd.

I'm always amazed when people think of Urbom as a prospect still. That ship sailed awhile ago. Probably won't even be in NA next year.

 

I still think that if everyone plays like they should this team is better then most people think or what they showed at times last season. We've got a very good goalie and a competent defense at worst to a top 7 at its playing best, this team should have made the playoffs considering how no one else in the east was running away with those spots at times last season. Other then a miracle signing of Paul Stastny in the off season I don't see free agency being a huge upgrade over what we got right now and trust/pray those signed last off season play as they should (Ryder and Brunner picking up the slack getting 20 goals plus each which I don't think is unreasonable).

I definitely think this is a good, not great team, capable of the playoffs. A full season of Schneider as you mention should make a big difference, plus their shootout luck is bound to change.

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Why oh why do I always read the comment section?  I want to bang my head repeatedly on the desk after doing so.... "trap?".

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There are some decent points here. I agree that we should go for Anton Stralman to fill out a top 4 D spot.

 

 

:doh1:

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I still contend that this team is in need of a full-on rebuild, but I think a retooling (read: signing some players with offense talent) could get the Devils back in the post season.

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it's hard for me to understand the rational behind a full on rebuild- I'm assuming you mean moving veteran players, but the only guys we have of value like that are jagr, Elias, Schneider and Greene. And each of those guys are only returning a first round pick each.

It's not like we're miles away from contention/ a playoff spot, and as we all know you just need to get in and then anything can happen in April & May.

IMO it would be foolish to blow it up because as we've seen across the league it guarantees losing for several season and then you can only cross your fingers that your picks and prospects work out (and more often than not they don't).

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it's hard for me to understand the rational behind a full on rebuild- I'm assuming you mean moving veteran players, but the only guys we have of value like that are jagr, Elias, Schneider and Greene. And each of those guys are only returning a first round pick each.

It's not like we're miles away from contention/ a playoff spot, and as we all know you just need to get in and then anything can happen in April & May.

IMO it would be foolish to blow it up because as we've seen across the league it guarantees losing for several season and then you can only cross your fingers that your picks and prospects work out (and more often than not they don't).

We don't need to blow it up for one reason we have the goalie set (hopefully) and we got young defensemen already pressing against the glass to make it to the NHL. "Blowing it up" at this point would be not understanding what assets we already have.

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We don't need to blow it up for one reason we have the goalie set (hopefully) and we got young defensemen already pressing against the glass to make it to the NHL. "Blowing it up" at this point would be not understanding what assets we already have.

exactly, we're practically halfway through a rebuild (even if we didn't necessarily consider it a rebuild at the time)- to blow it up in any way shape or form now would be foolish asset management, never mind the fact that it wouldn't be wise financially to concede 3-4 cellar dweller years when were close to competing. Edited by dmann422

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There are some decent points here. I agree that we should go for Anton Stralman to fill out a top 4 D spot.

 

 

:doh1:

 

Stralman is really quite good, he's basically the Rangers' Mark Fayne.  I don't know how that happened but it did.

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We don't need to blow it up for one reason we have the goalie set (hopefully) and we got young defensemen already pressing against the glass to make it to the NHL. "Blowing it up" at this point would be not understanding what assets we already have.

 

I'll play advocate here just for discussion.  

 

The Devils don't have goalie set (yet).  People here have me freaking worried about a Cory-to-Pittsburgh scenario.

 

The Devils have a plethora of B/C level defensive prospects, sure.  There's no breakout #1 in the bunch though.  I will say I think the Devils will be set on defense for a long time - the Devils have been pretty good at utilizing average-ish players since the breakup of the mini dynasty days.

 

Offensively is obviously where things look bleak.  The cupboards pretty much dry of potential top-6 forwards outside of Boucher, the Devils best scorer last year was a 42 year old mercenary.. Elias will decline, Zajac and Henrique need wingers to create offense.. although signing some big-name FA's would hopefully help here I'm not holding my breath for the Devils to get Statsny when half the league will be after him.

 

Why do I think they need a rebuild?  Because I'm worried the Devils will become the Nashville predators of the east - a team with no offense, solid defense and above average goaltending that makes the playoffs sporadically (and exits early when they do).  

 

I'll be hones though, I'm an all-or-nothing type of person.  If missing the playoffs for the next 3-4 years lands the Devils with some solid blue-chip offensive prospects (I know nothing is guaranteed in a rebuild) I'm all for it.  I hate the idea of the Devils being this fringe playoff team for the foreseeable future.

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I'll be hones though, I'm an all-or-nothing type of person. If missing the playoffs for the next 3-4 years lands the Devils with some solid blue-chip offensive prospects (I know nothing is guaranteed in a rebuild) I'm all for it. I hate the idea of the Devils being this fringe playoff team for the foreseeable future.

that's fair and I respect the opinion, but the problem is that the league is set up to try and promote parity- there aren't many teams that can look ahead and say that they are guaranteed playoff spots for the next 4-5 years. Probably 75-80% of teams fall under the "fringe playoff" category (or worse) that you speak of. Like you acknowledged, not all rebuilds wind up as the Blackhawks- for every successful rebuild there are 3-4 ones that at best land the team back into that fringe playoff category.

All of this disregards the fact that the team is in fact a business and I doubt ownership (never mind Lou's pride) will appreciate the idea of tanking for 3-4 years for a hope and prayer that we land the next toews and Kane.

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I'll play advocate here just for discussion.  

 

The Devils don't have goalie set (yet).  People here have me freaking worried about a Cory-to-Pittsburgh scenario.

 

The Devils have a plethora of B/C level defensive prospects, sure.  There's no breakout #1 in the bunch though.  I will say I think the Devils will be set on defense for a long time - the Devils have been pretty good at utilizing average-ish players since the breakup of the mini dynasty days.

 

Offensively is obviously where things look bleak.  The cupboards pretty much dry of potential top-6 forwards outside of Boucher, the Devils best scorer last year was a 42 year old mercenary.. Elias will decline, Zajac and Henrique need wingers to create offense.. although signing some big-name FA's would hopefully help here I'm not holding my breath for the Devils to get Statsny when half the league will be after him.

 

Why do I think they need a rebuild?  Because I'm worried the Devils will become the Nashville predators of the east - a team with no offense, solid defense and above average goaltending that makes the playoffs sporadically (and exits early when they do).  

 

I'll be hones though, I'm an all-or-nothing type of person.  If missing the playoffs for the next 3-4 years lands the Devils with some solid blue-chip offensive prospects (I know nothing is guaranteed in a rebuild) I'm all for it.  I hate the idea of the Devils being this fringe playoff team for the foreseeable future.

 

One point I will take serious issue with - the idea that the Devils don't have any A Defensive prospects.  Nobody does.  Well okay every so often a Doughty or Pietrangelo comes along - these guys can't miss.  But that happens once every five years.  The rest of the top D come from who knows where.  

 

Duncan Keith has 51 points in 154 AHL games.  Shea Weber is a point every other game D in the WHL.  Zdeno Chara, well I don't even need to bring up his early years in the NHL.  All of this is a way of saying that a lot of what seperates the top defenders from run of the mill #1 D evolves in the NHL.  Jon Merrill could be a really excellent D - he's not going to score a lot of goals, but everything else he could do well.  Maybe not.  But I wouldn't count him out, and I wouldn't count out Gelinas from becoming a top offensive D, and I wouldn't count out Severson either.  Or even Larsson - 38 points in 66 AHL games is pretty good for a 20-21 year old.

Edited by Triumph

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One point I will take serious issue with - the idea that the Devils don't have any A Defensive prospects.  Nobody does.  Well okay every so often a Doughty or Pietrangelo comes along - these guys can't miss.  But that happens once every five years.  The rest of the top D come from who knows where.  

 

Duncan Keith has 51 points in 154 AHL games.  Shea Weber is a point every other game D in the WHL.  Zdeno Chara, well I don't even need to bring up his early years in the NHL.  All of this is a way of saying that a lot of what seperates the top defenders from run of the mill #1 D evolves in the NHL.  Jon Merrill could be a really excellent D - he's not going to score a lot of goals, but everything else he could do well.  Maybe not.  But I wouldn't count him out, and I wouldn't count out Gelinas from becoming a top offensive D, and I wouldn't count out Severson either.  Or even Larsson - 38 points in 66 AHL games is pretty good for a 20-21 year old.

 

I agree with you here. Defensemen are not like forwards, you can't easily say who is going to be a dominant one in a few years the way you can with some of the top forwards who get drafted. I would not be shocked if Merrill, Gelinas, Larsson, or Severson were our best defenseman in a season or two. They all seem to have the tools, it's just a matter of who can put it all together, get confident, and stay healthy.

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I agree with you here. Defensemen are not like forwards, you can't easily say who is going to be a dominant one in a few years the way you can with some of the top forwards who get drafted. I would not be shocked if Merrill, Gelinas, Larsson, or Severson were our best defenseman in a season or two. They all seem to have the tools, it's just a matter of who can put it all together, get confident, and stay healthy.

The key is the Devils have a lot of what people would say are good ones so odds are they got to hit on at least a few.

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I give Lou credit for "making an attempt" last year signing Ryder,Jagr & Brunner. But besides Stastny, i don't seen anyone else in UFA market that would really elevate us offensively.  I think Lou needs to get someone via trade. We can't trade #30, but Fla has a ton of good prospects as does Edm. I woner if just maybe we could pry one Gagne or Eberly without selling our soles.

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I try not to over think this stuff. ... let's do some elementary analysis 

 

Sign Cory (don't want to see a final year play on our goalie.. too big a distraction is the continuous FA talk)

And get some friggin players who can friggin score goals, because we couldn't the last 2 seasons ....and the players we have who can score are gettin old.

 

Our D is fine and will work itself out

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Well can close the file on this pipe dream.

@PollakOnSharks: Robinson getting new, 3-yr deal w/#SJSharks as assoc coach (not on bench), director of player development. Credit @Dave_Stubbs w/1st report.

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Well can close the file on this pipe dream.

@PollakOnSharks: Robinson getting new, 3-yr deal w/#SJSharks as assoc coach (not on bench), director of player development. Credit @Dave_Stubbs w/1st report.

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That door has been closed for over a year now.  Robinson specifically stated that he was taking a job out West to devote more time to family matters and be closer to family living out West.  Robinson did great things for us in terms of coaching defensemen, but can he really be credited with developing great defensemen?  Larsson took some strides under him but Robinson can't take credit for any current young defenseman on the roster.  Not dogging Robinson at all, he's an amazing coach, and more experience than Stevens, but I'm still behind this current coaching staff, very much so. 

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I try not to over think this stuff. ... let's do some elementary analysis 

 

Sign Cory (don't want to see a final year play on our goalie.. too big a distraction is the continuous FA talk)

And get some friggin players who can friggin score goals, because we couldn't the last 2 seasons ....and the players we have who can score are gettin old.

 

Our D is fine and will work itself out

Spot on! I think the future of our D is good & will be fine. (I hope we sign Fayne btw) when we brought Kovy in, we knew his shortcomings on "D" He eventually bought in. But scoring skill was there. This kind of guy will have to be brought in via trade. Stastny would be awesome, but we're not the only team that would love to have him.

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