You know what the sad thing is: Tyler Johnson has more goals in the playoffs right now than every NJ Devil did in the entire season with the exception of five players - and one of those is Zajac who is tied with Johnson.
I think if Hanifin is there at six, there is a good chance the Devils could trade down and reap a pretty good return as there most likely will be plenty of suitors. The question is how far down would the Devils have to drop? If Columbus for example wants to bust a move for Hanifin, I think it might make a whole lot of sense to trade down - assuming a top-ranked forward that the Devils covet is not there for the taking.
He hasn't had this much roster flexibility in a LONG time. So many things he can do to improve the team.
Here's another thing. A lot of you are calling for his head if we don't make the playoffs next year. But you'd also be calling for his head if we trade someone like Merrill or Santini. We can't keep all of our defensemen. And Merrill or Santini or Gelinas even can bring back some good assets. If we wanna make the playoffs, we have to look to trade one of those guys. If we don't, we're gonna be stuck for a little while. And I can tell many of you don't have enough patience to go through 3 or 4 more years of this.
Bottom line, we can't have it both ways. We built up the defense for a reason. Now it's time to do something with it. Trading a Merrill or Gelinas or Santini would help speed up the rebuild process provided he finds the right deal.
I've been saying it practically all season long. Wait until September before judging this team. I guarantee we won't be going into next season with only 13 players.
Another question is, when was the last time Lou was responsible for setting the team back? The answer is never. What set the team back was Kovy bailing, and Parise signing for Minny. Neither are Lou's fault. One was the fault of JVB, and the other was the "fault" of Parise.
This is a really good point. Lou has a ton of ways he can go this offseason. He has the #6 overall pick, he has some nice draft picks in the later rounds, he has some good flexibility under the cap and he has to name a new head coach. To be sure, Lou is under a lot of pressure and his decisions in the next few months or so are really going to cement an image of Lou's overall stewardship of the Devils one way or another. Will Lou silence his critics and guarantee himself a place in the all-time pantheon of sports GMs with a series of savvy moves or will he be remembered as the GM who stayed around too long while the game passed him by? Fortunately or unfortunately the Devils immediate future depends on it. So buckle up your seat belts, because these next few months are going to determine the Devils fortunes for a long time to come.