Where did it all fail?
The New Jersey Devils went into the 2019-20 season with high hopes after what by all accounts was an effective offseason. P.K. Subban, Nikita Gusev and Wayne Simmonds got here, and there were no significant lineup losses. The front office had actually boosted the team in the hopes of a playoff push after a frustrating 2018-19campaign Some extremely appreciated reporters even chose them to win the Metropolitan Division.
Then things broke down.
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The season began inauspiciously, with the Devils blowing a 4-0 lead to Winnipeg in the season opener, and after that things simply worsened. They lost 9 of their first 10 games, quiting an average of nearly 5 objectives a game because stretch.
When December got here and the team was still entrenched near the bottom of the league, the front office started a full- onrebuild Coach John Haynes was fired and changed by Alain Nasreddine. Star winger Taylor Hall was traded to the Arizona Coyotes for 3 potential customers and 2 draft choices. The male who made those relocations, Ray Shero, was let go as general manager.
The rebuild continued Sunday as the team traded away 2 more of its leading players. Longtime captain Andy Greene was sent out to the New York Islanders for a second-round choice and possibility David Quenneville. fan-favorite Blake Coleman was moved to the Tampa Bay Lightning, with a conditional first-round choice and possibility Nolan Foote coming the other method.
MORE: Blake Coleman trade grades for Lightning, Devils
New Jersey is now left with one of the weaker lineups in the NHL, a head coach who still brings an “interim” tag and a fan base dealing with the loss of 3 of its most cherished players.
Obviously, this was the strategy the whole time.
The real rebuild will start in the summertime at the 2020 NHL Draft. Interim GM Tom Fitzgerald will have a bounty of chooses at his disposal (offered he’s still running the team at that point), consisting of as numerous as 3 in the first round alone. The franchise has actually had the first general choice in 2 of the last 3 years, so the goal stays stockpiling as much young skill aspossible
Getting potential customers like the 19- year-old Foote continues that procedure. The 6-3 forward has actually gotten favorable evaluations throughout his time with Kelowna in the WHL, and Fitzgerald has actually currently gone on record stating he likes what he sees.
“This transaction allows us to acquire two key pieces in continuing to build this team around our foundational cornerstones,” he stated in a team news release. “Foote is a big, physical winger, with an excellent shot and great offensive instincts, especially on the power play. He will complement our young forward group for a long time.”
Plainly the rest of this season is not going to be quite in Newark, however with the relocations they’re making, the Devils’ front office now remains in position to turn the franchise back into a competitor.