No doubt about it, the 2019-20 New Jersey Devils will look a LOT different from the team who took the ice in 2018-19. The team not only added superstar in the making Jack Hughes this offseason, but general manager Ray Shero also pulled off a blockbuster trade for former Norris Trophy winning defenseman P.K. Subban and managed to get former Philadelphia Flyers power forward Wayne Simmonds. Suffice it to say, these ain’t your grandaddy’s Devils.
The thing is… Shero not done. Not by a long shot.
“I’ve made some calls and I’ll be doing the same thing this week,” Devils general manager Ray Shero said to NHL.com just yesterday. “We certainly would want to see what’s out there. As the dust settles on the first day of free agency, everyone has their winners and losers, but winning on July 1 is never the goal.
“If you have a chance to improve your team you will. We’re still in good shape, [NHL salary cap] wise, and we’ve utilized that space well. Our managing partners (Josh Harris and David Blitzer) have been very supportive, and we’ve kind of laid out that when the time is right, we’ll take advantage of a couple opportunities and will continue to do so, if it’s available.”
So… what might Shero be looking at? They have the top end talent, but could use some depth particularly up front. With Hughes, Nico Hischier and Travis Zajac down the middle, they could stand to add some depth wingers. And what about Cory Schneider in goal? Can he be relied on to give the team average to above-average goaltending in 2019-20?
Veterans Cam Ward, Scott Darling, Michael Neuvirth and Al Montyoa are all available, but do they really provide any more reliability than Schneider? Unlikely.
Stay tuned, because it’s clear that Shero is planning something.