The past few months have dragged for Devils fans, who are ready to see their team on the ice, fighting to get back in the playoffs; instead of headlining breaking offseason news.
It's time for one last look back. Here are the three things that disappointed me the most over the offseason, and the three things that made it even harder to wait for October
3. Losing David Clarkson
Clarkson fought his way onto the team from the OHL after going undrafted. Over 7 seasons, he worked hard to become a highly respected power forward. He wasn't easily injured, and provided a ton of energy through his physical play and his constant chirping. He also became an important charitable figure in the Newark area.
Though Clarkson's numbers may be replaceable, his intangibles are not. Best of luck to him in Toronto, I'm sure he'll enjoy that fat paycheck.
2. Re-signing Marek Zidlicky
I understand why Zidlicky was re-signed: he is the most talented offensive defenseman on the Devils. However, I still cringe at the thought of watching him for another year. Arguably, there are three young players who deserve to see a significant amount of ice time this season. I would be excited to watch them make mistakes and learn, rather than watch Zidlicky make the same dumb mistakes over and over again. I think the Devils took a huge step back with the signing.
1. Ilya Kovalchuck's Retirement
The reasons for Kovys retirement are probably more complicated than any of us know. In the long run, it's good that Devils don't have to deal with his outrageous contract. In the short term, it sucks to lose such an incredible player. He was the best skater on the team, and he had one of the nastiest shots in the NHL.
3. Re-signing Adam Henrique
I started to get worried when Henrique was still a free agent a couple of weeks ago. But his commitment to the team became apparent when he signed his new contract. There is no doubt in my mind, he will be worth more than $4 million by the time his contact expires. Along with Zajac, Larsson and Schneider, he is one of the most important members of the Devils team.
2. Signing the Duo from Newfoundland
Clowe was a key player on the Sharks for a few years. Ryder has been a key offensive player on every team that he's played for. While they might not be young and exciting, I believe they'll help the Devils make it back to the playoffs this year. They add much needed offensive depth to the lineup, and they both have plenty of experience.
Some are worried about Clowe, but I think that he'll prove many people wrong. He's already down in Jersey, skating with a bunch of the young players hoping to earn a spot on the team. He knows that he has a lot to prove, and he intends to earn his paycheck.
1. Trading for Cory Schneider
The Schneider trade was a complete fluke. The Canucks organization was backed into a wall, and they desperately needed to move a goalie to the Eastern Conference. Lou made one of the deals of his career.
I can't wait to see Schneider in a Devils jersey. He's proven that he's an elite goaltender; his numbers are some of the best in the league. How can some people predict that the Devils will be at the bottom of their division? They have both Brodeur and Schnieder. Teams with two great goaltenders like that don't lose consistently.
Anyway, I think the positives outweigh the negatives. And I can't wait to watch the new and improved Devils.
Thanks for reading!