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#1 SMantzas

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 01:29 PM

Over the last few years, many Devils fans (including myself) were growing increasingly impatient with Lou.  Whether it was the fact that Larsson, or insert other defensive prospect, wasn't getting enough playing time because they were blocked by a vet or that Lou wasn't exactly the most proactive in re-signing players before July 1st, annoyance with LL was understandable.  Fast forward to now:

 

What fans wanted- To see the 2014-2015 Devils feature a blueline with Merrill, Larsson and Gelinas.

 

What happened- Lou let Fayne go via free agency and used the second compliance buyout on Anton Volchenkov

 

Potential consequences- The thing with young players is you're not quite sure what you're going to get.  Aside from Larsson, neither of the "big three" has played more than 60 games and AL has been in and out of the lineup. Obviously the potential on all of them is sky-high but there is certainly a risk there. If one or even two of them flop, the Devils don't have a safety net in Albany.  If they wanted to go out and get some insurance there aren't many appealing UFA dmen left.

-----

What fans wanted- Lou to sign Cory Schneider and Andy Greene to contract extensions this summer

 

What happened- Lou signed Cory Schneider and Andy Greene to contract extensions this summer

 

Potential consequences- Everything points to Schneider being a fantastic goalie and we've seen first hand what he can do.  Fact is, we would've gotten more information this year to see if he can shoulder the load and play 60+ games. There is a risk here that he can't but it's definitely a worthwhile gamble.  With Greene, the money is fine but the term could up to be a disaster.  I don't want to think about where the Devils defense would be without him (short term).

-----

What fans wanted- Lou to go out and get a top 6 forward via free agency

 

What happened- The Devils signed 32 year old forward Mike Cammalleri to a 5 year, 25 million dollar contract

 

Potential consequences- You're unlikely to get a bargain when you go out and get talent on July 1st but I think Lou did pretty well here.  Got a good goal scorer with speed to play on the first line. Money isn't terrible but that term could be a problem, especially with a forward who relies on speed. From all accounts, Cammalleri takes very good care of his body and hopefully can stay healthy and productive for most of that contract.

-----

It seems that most of Lou's offseason moves coincided with Devils Nation's wants.  We got our wish to see Larsson, Gelinas and Merrill get their chance without a veteran breathing down our neck, Schneider and Greene will be Devils for a long time and we got a player we desperately needed on July 1st.  A great cloud of uncertainty has been omnipresent for the last 5 years and it doesn't appear to be leaving any time soon.  We got what we wanted, but are we ready for the consequences if thing go wrong?


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#2 grcenter47

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 01:41 PM

Over the last few years, many Devils fans (including myself) were growing increasingly impatient with Lou.  Whether it was the fact that Larsson, or insert other defensive prospect, wasn't getting enough playing time because they were blocked by a vet or that Lou wasn't exactly the most proactive in re-signing players before July 1st, annoyance with LL was understandable.  Fast forward to now:

 

What fans wanted- To see the 2014-2015 Devils feature a blueline with Merrill, Larsson and Gelinas.

 

What happened- Lou let Fayne go via free agency and used the second compliance buyout on Anton Volchenkov

 

Potential consequences- The thing with young players is you're not quite sure what you're going to get.  Aside from Larsson, neither of the "big three" has played more than 60 games and AL has been in and out of the lineup. Obviously the potential on all of them is sky-high but there is certainly a risk there. If one or even two of them flop, the Devils don't have a safety net in Albany.  If they wanted to go out and get some insurance there aren't many appealing UFA dmen left.

-----

What fans wanted- Lou to sign Cory Schneider and Andy Greene to contract extensions this summer

 

What happened- Lou signed Cory Schneider and Andy Greene to contract extensions this summer

 

Potential consequences- Everything points to Schneider being a fantastic goalie and we've seen first hand what he can do.  Fact is, we would've gotten more information this year to see if he can shoulder the load and play 60+ games. There is a risk here that he can't but it's definitely a worthwhile gamble.  With Greene, the money is fine but the term could up to be a disaster.  I don't want to think about where the Devils defense would be without him (short term).

-----

What fans wanted- Lou to go out and get a top 6 forward via free agency

 

What happened- The Devils signed 32 year old forward Mike Cammalleri to a 5 year, 25 million dollar contract

 

Potential consequences- You're unlikely to get a bargain when you go out and get talent on July 1st but I think Lou did pretty well here.  Got a good goal scorer with speed to play on the first line. Money isn't terrible but that term could be a problem, especially with a forward who relies on speed. From all accounts, Cammalleri takes very good care of his body and hopefully can stay healthy and productive for most of that contract.

-----

It seems that most of Lou's offseason moves coincided with Devils Nation's wants.  We got our wish to see Larsson, Gelinas and Merrill get their chance without a veteran breathing down our neck, Schneider and Greene will be Devils for a long time and we got a player we desperately needed on July 1st.  A great cloud of uncertainty has been omnipresent for the last 5 years and it doesn't appear to be leaving any time soon.  We got what we wanted, but are we ready for the consequences if thing go wrong?

 

the funny part is if all of these moves fail, the board will still complain about Lou and everyone will act that they never wanted it haha


Edited by grcenter47, 31 July 2014 - 01:41 PM.

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#3 2ELIAS6

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 02:00 PM

no matter what people will complain..thats people. However if iam concerned about anything its the length of cory schneiders contract. I wold have much rather seen something like 4years ..just incase you never know..
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#4 Daniel

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 02:01 PM

Not worried about Merrill.  The other two could be an issue.  I was always in favor of keeping Fayne, and getting rid of Salvador (won't say anything about Anton).  In the end though, last year we had a great defensive unit.  While Anton and Fayne were part of that, it's not the equivalent of Nashville losing Suter. 

 

The Schneider extension was great.  So long as he hasn't completely pulled the wool over everyone's eyes for the past four years, then we should be in decent shape.  The worst case scenario I suppose would be that he turns into Cam Ward.  Ward's pretty awful, but the Canes have been bad for a lot of other reasons that go beyond just the goaltending.

 

As I've said, I'm not too worried about the tail end of Greene's deal.  It's six years away, and by then, the cap could be more than $85 million.  A day of reckoning might very well be coming where we can't rely on free agency to plug up the holes on forward.  Greene might have a small part to do with that, but, if you're in a position where your forward corps have to be made up of a lot of oldish free agents, there are structural problems that go beyond whether you mildly overpaid to keep a very good defenseman five or six years earlier. 

 

No issues with the Cammaleri deal.  He'll either be an effective player or he won't.  Whatever problems the team might end up having down the road won't have much to do with his contract.

 

I think this exercise shows how important luck in the draft is.  It's not too late for that luck to turn around, and, for all we know, it might have already.


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#5 devilsrule33

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 02:12 PM

Not worried about Merrill.  The other two could be an issue.  I was always in favor of keeping Fayne, and getting rid of Salvador (won't say anything about Anton).  In the end though, last year we had a great defensive unit.  While Anton and Fayne were part of that, it's not the equivalent of Nashville losing Suter. 

 

The Schneider extension was great.  So long as he hasn't completely pulled the wool over everyone's eyes for the past four years, then we should be in decent shape.  The worst case scenario I suppose would be that he turns into Cam Ward.  Ward's pretty awful, but the Canes have been bad for a lot of other reasons that go beyond just the goaltending.

 

As I've said, I'm not too worried about the tail end of Greene's deal.  It's six years away, and by then, the cap could be more than $85 million.  A day of reckoning might very well be coming where we can't rely on free agency to plug up the holes on forward.  Greene might have a small part to do with that, but, if you're in a position where your forward corps have to be made up of a lot of oldish free agents, there are structural problems that go beyond whether you mildly overpaid to keep a very good defenseman five or six years earlier. 

 

No issues with the Cammaleri deal.  He'll either be an effective player or he won't.  Whatever problems the team might end up having down the road won't have much to do with his contract.

 

I think this exercise shows how important luck in the draft is.  It's not too late for that luck to turn around, and, for all we know, it might have already.

 

Why luck? The Devils haven't been unlucky really. There seems to be an organizational flaw in their drafting methodology for forwards. Obviously. they aren't going to get stars where they have drafted, but a few 1st round picks have not hit, and the later rounds have been a struggle too.


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#6 BlueSkirt

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 02:13 PM

I'm fine with the changes as we need to get younger, faster, and bigger.  All which is much easier sais than done, but we've moved into that direction and now we'll see how it works out.


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#7 Daniel

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 02:29 PM

Why luck? The Devils haven't been unlucky really. There seems to be an organizational flaw in their drafting methodology for forwards. Obviously. they aren't going to get stars where they have drafted, but a few 1st round picks have not hit, and the later rounds have been a struggle too.

 

Unless you're making completely off the reservation picks like Adrian Foster, it really comes down to luck.  Two notable draft busts were Bergfors and Tedenby, both of whom were highly rated.  Josefson was also highly ranked. 

 

To an extent though, it might have a bit to do with organizational philosophy in doing a strict best player available and not going for high-risk/high-reward players as appears to have been the case this year.  Yeah, I was upset about not taking chance on guys like Point and drafting a fighter in the later rounds, but it's still true that the chances that the alternatives would have made a big impact are pretty small. 

 

But ultimately, I don't see any kind of methodology that would prevent the Devils finding someone like Giroux or Hertl in the next three drafts. 


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#8 SMantzas

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 02:43 PM

Unless you're making completely off the reservation picks like Adrian Foster, it really comes down to luck.  Two notable draft busts were Bergfors and Tedenby, both of whom were highly rated.  Josefson was also highly ranked. 

 

To an extent though, it might have a bit to do with organizational philosophy in doing a strict best player available and not going for high-risk/high-reward players as appears to have been the case this year.  Yeah, I was upset about not taking chance on guys like Point and drafting a fighter in the later rounds, but it's still true that the chances that the alternatives would have made a big impact are pretty small. 

 

But ultimately, I don't see any kind of methodology that would prevent the Devils finding someone like Giroux or Hertl in the next three drafts. 

Since 08, the Devils haven't made any many boom or bust first round selections.

 

09- Josefson

10- No pick because of the Kovalchuk trade

11- Larsson

12- Matteau

13- Schneider trade

14- Quenneville

 

Looking at the later rounds they've been pretty safe too, aside from Boucher, Gavrus and Gelinas


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#9 Daniel

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 02:49 PM

Since 08, the Devils haven't made any many boom or bust first round selections.

 

09- Josefson

10- No pick because of the Kovalchuk trade

11- Larsson

12- Matteau

13- Schneider trade

14- Quenneville

 

Looking at the later rounds they've been pretty safe too, aside from Boucher, Gavrus and Gelinas

 

By boom/bust I was referring to the later rounds.  


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#10 Triumph

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 02:53 PM

Why luck? The Devils haven't been unlucky really. There seems to be an organizational flaw in their drafting methodology for forwards. Obviously. they aren't going to get stars where they have drafted, but a few 1st round picks have not hit, and the later rounds have been a struggle too.

 

I don't really think that's true.  As I said before, the Devils have had one pick in the top 15 in the last 11 years.  I mean, yeah, insofar as Detroit and Philadelphia have managed to nab top forwards in the draft and NJ hasn't, I suppose you can call that a flaw, but the problem seems kinda simple to me - NJ hasn't had top picks and they haven't had a lot of picks either.  I don't think there is anything structurally wrong with their draft methodology (though certainly I don't like this year's draft, it's not like they draft like this every year).


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#11 Daniel

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:07 PM

I don't really think that's true.  As I said before, the Devils have had one pick in the top 15 in the last 11 years.  I mean, yeah, insofar as Detroit and Philadelphia have managed to nab top forwards in the draft and NJ hasn't, I suppose you can call that a flaw, but the problem seems kinda simple to me - NJ hasn't had top picks and they haven't had a lot of picks either.  I don't think there is anything structurally wrong with their draft methodology (though certainly I don't like this year's draft, it's not like they draft like this every year).

 

By a quick look, the Flyers have managed to draft three great forwards outside of the top 15 in the past 15 years, Giroux (22), Richards (29) and Sharp (95).  We've had two and half in Parise, Zajac and Henrique. 

 

The Red Wings knocked it out of the park with Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Franzen and probably Nyquist, and maybe Mantha.  But the first three were drafted more than ten years ago.  It's hard to point to any kind of distinct methodology that the Wings have consistently used for the past 18 years that accounts for that.  If it were so obvious that those players were going to be very good, they would have been drafted before they were. 


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#12 Sarge18

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:09 PM

Looking at drafting, there is still a baffling affinity to marginally talented large forwards that play a north/south game that get picked to high on the hope that unforeseen offense develops.  They have historically come from NCAA programs or the USNTDP, but lately have gone to chl leagues for them as well.

 

Then you have the drafting of nobodies like a Mauro Yorg or Derek Rodwell type.  But those happen so late as one cant totally complain, though i would bet there were overagers or others out there that could at least play in the AHL.

 

Other than this past years draft disaster, the three before it look promising.  Certainly far better than anything done in the mid 2000's.

 

What it is becoming more apparent to me is not a drafting methodology issue, but a player development issue.  There have been a few trends that have come and gone with the Devils and forwards, but the AHL program has been consistent.  Either by desperation and putting guys in the NHL too soon, like a Jacob Josefson, or something afoul in the forward coaching in Albany very few are turning into useful pros.  So few serviceable forwards have come through minor league development program since the late 90's.  I can name three that spent 1 or more full years there that turned into full time pro's. Henrique, Clarkson, and Parise.  Zach was only there due to the lockout.  No one else has turned themselves into a every day nhl player.  Forget top end talent, the Devils cant even develop bottom 6 guys anymore.


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#13 SMantzas

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:15 PM

Looking at drafting, there is still a baffling affinity to marginally talented large forwards that play a north/south game that get picked to high on the hope that unforeseen offense develops.  They have historically come from NCAA programs or the USNTDP, but lately have gone to chl leagues for them as well.

 

Then you have the drafting of nobodies like a Mauro Yorg or Derek Rodwell type.  But those happen so late as one cant totally complain, though i would bet there were overagers or others out there that could at least play in the AHL.

 

Other than this past years draft disaster, the three before it look promising.  Certainly far better than anything done in the mid 2000's.

 

What it is becoming more apparent to me is not a drafting methodology issue, but a player development issue.  There have been a few trends that have come and gone with the Devils and forwards, but the AHL program has been consistent.  Either by desperation and putting guys in the NHL too soon, like a Jacob Josefson, or something afoul in the forward coaching in Albany very few are turning into useful pros.  So few serviceable forwards have come through minor league development program since the late 90's.  I can name three that spent 1 or more full years there that turned into full time pro's. Henrique, Clarkson, and Parise.  Zach was only there due to the lockout.  No one else has turned themselves into a every day nhl player.  Forget top end talent, the Devils cant even develop bottom 6 guys anymore.

Gelinas looks to be another one, but yeah, that's pretty damning.


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#14 Onddeck

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:18 PM

http://www.nhl.com/i...vid=DL|NHL|home

 

nhl.com doing their "state-of-the-team" piece where they analyze one team every day. talking about the moves they'e made this year, where they stand, and a potential "X-factor."

 

they actually analyze the Devils on Sunday, should be pretty interesting


Edited by Onddeck, 31 July 2014 - 03:19 PM.

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#15 Sarge18

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:22 PM

Gelinas looks to be another one, but yeah, that's pretty damning.

 

I was only addressing the forwards in that.  The defense has been a better story, but thats come down to drafting mostly.  The homegrown guys haven't had to spend full years down there.


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#16 2ELIAS6

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:48 PM

http://www.nhl.com/i...vid=DL|NHL|home
 
nhl.com doing their "state-of-the-team" piece where they analyze one team every day. talking about the moves they'e made this year, where they stand, and a potential "X-factor."
 
they actually analyze the Devils on Sunday, should be pretty interesting

ill keep my eyes open for this..and be prepared for the negativity that we will probably get as that seems to be the usual i feel.
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#17 DevsMan84

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:50 PM

ill keep my eyes open for this..and be prepared for the negativity that we will probably get as that seems to be the usual i feel.

 

That's pretty much what I am thinking.  I can see it now.

 

"and here is special contributor Scott Burnside to give his outlook on the New Jersey Devil's upcoming season...."


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#18 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:52 PM

That's pretty much what I am thinking.  I can see it now.

 

"and here is special contributor Scott Burnside to give his outlook on the New Jersey Devil's upcoming season...."

 

I can see arguments for both sides on this one.  I've got them finishing with 90 points. 


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#19 devilsrule33

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:55 PM

Everyone give themselves a round of applause. We got Sarge to post not once, but twice in this thread.

 

As for your points, drafting issues, player development issues...there are problems. The Devils used to be the crown jewel of the NHL when it came to both (forwards and defensemen). If it is philosophy or what, the Devils methods have become stale in some regard.

 

You are also right about bottom six forwards. These are guys you should be able to draft after the 1st and 2nd round. The Devils have needed to pick up Carter and Bernier off waivers to get a 4th line going, and have tried and used about 9-10 forwards over the last few years that are simply not NHL players.


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#20 Triumph

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 05:19 PM

Looking at drafting, there is still a baffling affinity to marginally talented large forwards that play a north/south game that get picked to high on the hope that unforeseen offense develops.  They have historically come from NCAA programs or the USNTDP, but lately have gone to chl leagues for them as well.

 

Then you have the drafting of nobodies like a Mauro Yorg or Derek Rodwell type.  But those happen so late as one cant totally complain, though i would bet there were overagers or others out there that could at least play in the AHL.

 

Other than this past years draft disaster, the three before it look promising.  Certainly far better than anything done in the mid 2000's.

 

What it is becoming more apparent to me is not a drafting methodology issue, but a player development issue.  There have been a few trends that have come and gone with the Devils and forwards, but the AHL program has been consistent.  Either by desperation and putting guys in the NHL too soon, like a Jacob Josefson, or something afoul in the forward coaching in Albany very few are turning into useful pros.  So few serviceable forwards have come through minor league development program since the late 90's.  I can name three that spent 1 or more full years there that turned into full time pro's. Henrique, Clarkson, and Parise.  Zach was only there due to the lockout.  No one else has turned themselves into a every day nhl player.  Forget top end talent, the Devils cant even develop bottom 6 guys anymore.

 

I can't defend the selections of Mauro Jorg, Kory Nagy, or Derek Rodwell.  They're indefensible on any level - a case where someone saw a guy play well a few times and thought there was more there than there was.  If the Devils had had success doing this in the past I could defend it, but I defy anyone to find examples of this.

 

I don't really think we can say there's a player development issue because there just aren't that many players.  Between 2005-2010, the Devils only drafted 20 forwards.  That's not a ton of players for 6 drafts.  Throw in that they never signed 6 of the forwards they did draft and we're left with only 14 players.  The Devils traded Patrice Cormier before he entered the organization - strike him from the list.  Now we're at 13.  

 

Of those 13 forwards, three are NHL regulars - Josefson, Henrique, and Matt Halischuk.  4 others have gotten extended shots to stick in the league but didn't - Bergfors, Palmieri, Tedenby, and Zharkov.  I want to focus on these four guys because I imagine that's where you would say the player development issue lies, but I'm not sure that's the case.  Three of these guys are players I would not consider 'Devils-type' players - Bergfors, Palmieri, and Tedenby were less than committed to the defensive zone.  Is this a development issue?  I'm not sure.  I suspect you could overlook these things if these players were better offensively, but they're not.  Zharkov is a strange case, a guy who seemed to have a spot on the team locked up but had a poor camp and worse minor league season and was out of North America.  He and Palmieri both look to have had the best years of their professional careers already.  One of the issues with evaluating foreign players is that they don't have a career before this where you can say 'okay, this guy was good in this league, and he became not good elsewhere' - it's not like Palmieri's junior career suggests a guy who should be an NHL success.  Indeed, it suggests almost exactly what he was - an NHL fringe player who didn't make it.

 

The rest of the players drafted were Vasyunov (he wasn't a good pro in North America, RIP), Patrick Davis (bleh), David Wohlberg (minor league filler), J.S. Berube (same), Mike Hoeffel (same), Kory Nagy (same).  Wohlberg had a decent college career but has failed as a pro, Hoeffel the same, but none of these guys showed they were particularly special before they got into the organization and so it's not surprising they've ended up where they have.


Edited by Triumph, 31 July 2014 - 05:25 PM.

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