I really like where the team is/is going. I felt the needs of the franchise are getting addressed. I was very worried about what would happen with goaltending after Brodeur leaves. Trading the 9th overall for Schneider was a perfect solution to our questionable future in net.
I thought the Devils would for sure draft a forward and rush them to be part of the top 6 for next season. I'm glad we signed the players we did though. I'll miss Clarkson but I've always liked Clowe. He's a better scorer and skater than Clarkson but is questionable in regards to his health. I think we did overpay for him; 4 years and $16 M I think would have been more appropriate but that's what the going rate for that type of forward was this off season. The Ryder signing is purely amazing in terms of both years and money.
I also like the trading of Tallinder. It definitely is time to let the younger D get a chance. Just thinking of Larsson, Urbom, Gelinas, Burlon, Merill etc. in the next few years is purely amazing. I would have probably used a regular buyout on Hedberg and a compliance buyout on Volchenkov while trading Tallinder but I guess Lou feels Volchenkov can bounce back next season and if he doesn't can get bought out then.
My favorite part is that next off season looking at our forwards we have Kovalchuk, Zajac, Elias, Ryder, Clowe, Zubrus, Josefson & Henrique still on contract (assuming Josefson and Henrique sign 2+ year contracts). Meaning those who are consistently productive will be here and all of our depth players will be playing for contracts. Then there can be more focus on upgrading our D, extending Schneider and retaining those helpful depth forwards.