So it’s been awhile since I last made my assessment on the NJ Devils draft picks, and a few other NHL teams that drafted in the first round. Today’s article will be based a little more technical.
Let’s touch base on the fact that Ray Shero per Tom Gulitti’s Fire and Ice Blog title goes “Devils part ways with executive VP of hockey operations/director of scouting David Conte
For me as a long time Devils fan I know the fact that “if something is broken you fix it.” Well I give my praise to Ray Shero for stepping in at a crucial time when a lot of players who under performed are now leaving the team. Now that this draft is over. I predicted that 2015 would be David Conte’s last draft since the past several seasons.
Lets put this into perspective how the Devils are set with Cory Schneider (starting goalie), and Keith Kinkaid (back-up) in net. Now lets look at the defense Andy Greene, Damon Severson, Jon Merrill, John Moore, Eric Gelinas, and hopefully Adam Larsson (depending on if he get’s re-signed prior to arbitration). Now with the forwards you’ll have Travis Zajac, Josefson, Henrique, Stephen Gionta, Patrik Elias, Mike Cammalleri, and Kyle Palmieri coming in for the new season.
What I’m really psyched about is that prospect camp is coming up very soon that guys like Sergey Kalinin, Pavel Zacha are getting ready to show Ray Shero, and coach Hynes what they have to put up on the ice. One of the things with training camp coming in a little while (maybe a few months) I would love to see Coach Hynes treat every player who has yet to prove themselves would be to compete really hard in practice every day, and see who shows up to play during the pre-season.
This is the thing when Peter DeBoer was the Devils coach he was too soft on the veteran players during the season. Now that Hynes is now the coach I’m very amped up that he’s going to hold every player accountable. What I also like is that he’s going to have a “fast attacking, fast supporting, fast thinking” up-tempo, 2-way system.
When I talk to friends of the podcast, I am a producer for Running With The Devils Podcast. I always keep talking about what Shero is doing right, and a lot of us agree that Ray is righting the ship. When I’m reading fans saying that they dislike something about the business side of what Shero does.
This is what those naysayers have to hear is that when a previous work history doesn’t have a good impact on the business. It’s time to adapt. When I say, “it’s time to adapt” I mean take a look at what the Chicago Blackhawks, and the LA Kings have done. They kept majority of their recent drafted players, and kept most of them, and then traded others along the way to bring in key assets to win Stanley Cups.
Now as a Devils fan, Ray Shero is doing the right thing with not bringing in the same group of guys on the roster. Also now that coaches Geoff Ward is the assistant coach who won a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins as an assistant coach to Claude Julien. Alain Nasreddine having been with Shero’s AHL team along with Coach Hynes in Scranton Wilkes-Barre I see a lot of chemistry on the bench.
What I need from people to understand is that as a producer of the podcast I don’t expect everything to be perfect because lets be realistic we will have a better team than last years. But if I’m close, and I hope I’m wrong. With the current roster I expect us to go as high as 10th seed in the Eastern Conference. But if something drastic happens I expect us to make 8th or 7th seed. But only the hockey gods know the outcome.
From what my expectations are of this upcoming season we will have a better team, and I tell people “I’d rather have a young team struggle, learn together, and gel over time.” But I don’t want us to go after players who are nearing the end of their careers. I know I would love the Devils to make the playoffs but I’d rather see higher quality assets overtime get acquired, and assembled properly, and make the Devils a long term contender. Eventually hoist The Stanley Cup for a fourth time.
It’s time to see what Ray Shero does once he names a new director of scouting, and what else may occur.
“Keep on running.”