You are hindsighting this like a true pro. The Devils were fine in the shootout until this season and even while losing Kovalchuk certainly didn't help the shootout, the guys Lou added weren't terrible in that format: http://www.nhl.com/i...terCareerTotals
Jokinen was waived without being claimed, so Carolina traded him for a conditional pick AND had to retain salary to get rid of him.
The issue here is that its not just losing kovalchuk. We lost Parise too. We lost Gionta as well. Patty is the only one really that led to our shootout success that is still there. If you remember - probably not -- i was one who wanted Parise traded at the deadline before he left us as a free agent. I said you couldnt lose a guy like that for nothing. Teams see it coming - Lou plays stubborn thinking he can sign all of his FA's and to be honest he is about 50 pct on the players he wants to resign. And his "B" plan of trying to sign 2-3 "B" rate players to replace said "A Rate" player usually doesn't work.