It's not that Lou's presence makes it difficult, it's just hard to take over a team that's where the Devils are right now. They are not destitute. They have a top D pairing and a great goalie. They have some very good young players. They just don't have much else. What the Devils are missing is the one thing that it's almost impossible to fix. But it's also impossible to step in and say 'We can't fix this'. Again, it's all going to come down to free agency and whether they trade some of these picks.
Every time I think about this team with Kovalchuk and Parise I really think we would be not only making the playoffs, but being close to Cup Contenders perennially. You're right, we're missing unfixable things because we're missing the kinds of players we don't have the opportunity to draft. We'd have to suck more for that, but it's tough to say that would even improve the team in the long run.