From Bottom to Top: The Turnaround of New Jersey Devils in Recent NHL Seasons

New Jersey Devils

For years, the New Jersey Devils were a team that many NHL fans viewed as unremarkable. They often found themselves at the bottom of the league standings, struggling to keep up with their competitors. However, in the last few years, the Devils have defied expectations and made a remarkable turnaround to become the top team in the league. From their strategic roster changes to their impressive coaching staff, the Devils have shown that even the most seemingly hopeless situations can be turned around with hard work and determination.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the rise of the New Jersey Devils and the factors that have contributed to their success. We’ll also discuss the impact of their turnaround on minor hockey in both North America and around the world and the discussions taking place in the Minor Hockey Talk forum. So, let’s jump in and explore the journey of the New Jersey Devils from the bottom to the top.

A Rocky Start

The New Jersey Devils have a long history in the NHL, with their beginnings dating back to 1974, when they were known as the Kansas City Scouts. After a brief stint in Denver, the team moved to New Jersey in 1982 and became the Devils we know today. Despite their longevity in the league, the Devils experienced a rocky start, with just a few playoff appearances in the early years and two failed attempts at the Stanley Cup finals in 1995 and 2003.

Over the years, the Devils went through several changes in management, coaching staff, and players, but they couldn’t seem to break through the barriers that kept them at the bottom of the league. Fans were growing restless and losing faith in their team’s ability to turn things around.

But then, everything changed.

A Change in Management

In 2015, the Devils hired Ray Shero as their new general manager, and things began to shift. Shero, a former assistant GM for the Pittsburgh Penguins, brought with him a new philosophy and fresh ideas for the team. He began to make strategic roster changes, bringing in new, young talent and getting rid of underperforming players.

One of his most notable moves was the acquisition of Taylor Hall, a dynamic forward who became the team’s top scorer and leader. Along with Hall, Shero also added goaltender Cory Schneider and defenseman Sami Vatanen to the roster, solidifying the team’s core.

A Strong Coaching Staff

In addition to the changes in management and players, the Devils have also revamped their coaching staff in recent years. In 2017, they hired John Hynes as their head coach, a move that surprised many in the hockey world. Hynes, who had previously coached the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, brought a fresh, no-nonsense approach to the team and gained the respect of his players.

Under Hynes’ leadership, the Devils have become a well-rounded team, with a clear focus on defensive play and aggressive offense. Hynes has also been praised for his ability to develop young players and create a positive team culture, earning him a nomination for the Jack Adams Award in 2018.

A Culture of Winning

The combination of strategic roster changes and a strong coaching staff has created a winning culture within the New Jersey Devils organization. The team has found success on the ice, with multiple playoff appearances in the last few years and a trip to the playoffs in 2018.

But it’s not just on the ice where the team is thriving. The Devils have also created a culture of giving back to the community, with several players and staff actively involved in charitable causes. This has helped to strengthen the team’s bond and create a sense of unity and purpose beyond just winning games.

The Impact on Minor Hockey

The turnaround of the New Jersey Devils has been an inspiring story for minor hockey players and teams across North America and around the world. It shows that with dedication, hard work, and the right leadership, even the most struggling teams can turn around and become successful.

In the Minor Hockey Talk forum, fans have been discussing the impact of the Devils’ success on the future of the sport. Many believe that their success will encourage young players to stick with the game and work towards their goals, despite any obstacles they may face. The Devils have also been praised for their work in developing young talent, providing a roadmap for other teams to follow.

With the Devils’ rise to the top, there has been a renewed sense of excitement and interest in hockey, particularly in the United States. Fans who may have previously dismissed the Devils are now tuning in to watch their games, and this has had a ripple effect on sports culture as a whole.

Closing considerations

The New Jersey Devils have come a long way from their days at the bottom of the league. Through strategic management, a strong coaching staff, and a culture of winning, they have become a top team in the NHL and an inspiration to fans and players alike. Their success has not only impacted the league, but it has also had a profound effect on minor hockey and discussions within the Minor Hockey Talk forum.

As we continue to follow the journey of the New Jersey Devils, we can’t help but be reminded that anything is possible with dedication, hard work, and the right team behind you.


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