Let me just begin by stating that I maintain the highest respect for the General Manger, CEO, and President of our beloved franchise. He has served longer than any current general manager in the NHL (with a single franchise), and his professional methodology that has consisted of loyalty and financial practicality has overall been pragmatic for the entire organization for over two decades.
The previous point is precisely where I'm able to transition to why his position as the authority figure that makes the majority of decisions on behalf of the team is now a detriment to our chances of winning. Lou simply represents the successful era of the New Jersey Devils who's more than adequate constituents (Niedermayer, Stevens, etc.) followed in the traditional ideology of the defensive zone trap. The concept of ‘traditional ideology' seems to be the focus of adversity that no one can seem to overcome the past couple of years. Failing to produce a championship team in recent years can no longer be blamed on coaching staff, as we've seen plenty of diversity in that category - as well as in the variety of types of players we have acquired.
How does this apply currently? I understand the plethora of circumstances that could cause an individual in his particular position to be apprehensive in typically making decisions that most fans deem ‘obvious.' For example the financial aspect of assessing a situation before putting a stamp on it can be a tough burden to weigh out. Having approximately four million dollars in cap space at this point in the season can be spent aggressively, conserved (perhaps reserved for Parise's hopefully imminent future with the club), or have supplemental means that could be established in regards to the cap by removing insufficient players from our roster. In my personal opinion, the structure of our defense is noticeably deficient. The defensive ‘veterans' that were allegedly supposed to lead this team and set a proper example for players attempting to develop their game such as Fayne or Larsson, have utterly failed in doing so. On the business side of things, the amount of space currently being occupied by these players is simply ridiculous. Volchenkov may be able to throw bodies around on occasion, however his whopping 4.25 million dollars a year until 2016 shows that Lou unnecessarily dug himself into a deep expensive hole. Perhaps 3.375 million dollars a year locked up until 2014 seems reasonable to the average fan for Henrik Tallinder, as it is a similar cap hit to players of similar stature: Dan Girardi and Rob Scuderi. However, I feel that Henrik is single handedly the most detrimental player on the ice in a Devils uniform. He racks up the most ice time per game as a defenseman with approximately 22 minutes. During those 22 minutes I proceed to witness a constant display of turnovers, poor coverage and positioning (not only at the point in the neutral zone but particularly in our own zone), and irresponsible possession of the puck including a persistency of breaking a progressive cycle with bad passes. From what I recall with his stint in Buffalo his stats were moderately similar, and his effort was unsatisfactory especially being outshined by a young Tyler Myers in 2009-2010. Why these moves were even considered, and worse yet evidently approved of in the 2010 offseason is beyond my comprehension. Why aren't defensemen that win battles in the corner and effectively quarterback a successful breakout being recognized more fiscally then? (i.e. Bryce Salvador - yes I'm aware of his injury yet he has proven himself well before, and thus far in the current season). Lou's loyalty toward aging Marty in the last year of his contract is acceptable to me as he is still the face of the franchise, and still for the most part capable of keeping us in the majority of our games. However the disorganized defense (as a result of Lou's business resolutions) that stands guard in front of a goaltender that is clearly no longer in his prime, seems to me as the basis for the past couple of season's failures.
It seems to be the new method toward building a winning team; blaming the offense, more notably their chemistry. It is a notorious fact that the Devils are usually spotted as one of the worst teams in the league in the category of goals for (Once again in the first month this season - approx. 2 goals per game). Why? Each line continues to be dismantled on a daily basis whether in practice or in a game. Not only does each line become altered, but players are being required to adapt to new positions now? (This is only going to frustrate Zach Parise as he should have a solidified role on the team and deservingly so). It seems to me that the consistent change in offensive pairings (along with the harmful idea of double shifting players - now including Elias on top of Parise and Kovalchuk), is simply escaping from the damaging ineffectiveness of our defensive principles. If those of you believe that our offense is inept (most likely due to injuries down the center as in Josefson and Zajac), why has nothing been done to give us an advantage? Hence, Ryan Carter is not an advantage.
Finally it is with the utmost passion that I believe that Lou's conservative ‘status quo' rhetoric is simply obsolete. In order to have a successful season and or post season, it is necessary that we procure a superstructure that can effectively and more importantly aggressively keep up with the promptness of transactions in a new era of hockey.