The league hasn't changed, if anything defense is even more important, and the Devils have the type of Defenseman to anchor a cup run. They can transition the puck up the ice by either skating it or passing, which is key in todays game.
The issue at hand, is that they have below average top 6 talent. Their bottom 6 forwards are more than adequate, in fact, I would argue that they are above average.
That appears to be fairly straightforward, if entirely contradictory to 8.2, doesn’t it? A player who rethinks his retirement only needs to wait a year before signing a new deal and returning to action. And since Kovalchuk signed his retirement papers on July 11, 2013, more than 18 months ago, it appears as though he could sign a new contract with the Devils, his previous NHL team, and be eligible for immediate reinstatement.