As this is my first post to In Lou We Trust, forgive me if I am not following normal posting procedure. I simply could not resist sharing my pride I have in the Devils' organization for what we have accomplished in this offseason.
I, along with many other Devils fans, am quick to respond to any doubts of our team with the standard, "We have only missed the playoffs twice in the last 20 years and have won the cup 3 times!" While that sounds nice, we all know behind that is a team that hasn't won the cup in 10 years, and has failed to make the playoffs 2 out of the last 3. Also, the Brodeur era is coming to an end. Brodeur; the most accomplished goalie of all time and a man who I have idolized my entire life. I lacked true optimism for the years to come, and with the lose of Zach, it seemed that Newark was losing its grasps as a city of hockey excellence. It became easy to question Lou's readiness to let high value players walk out the door to get their big contract elsewhere.
Then came the off season...
Brodeur began a campaign to put himself on the cover of NHL 14. Devils fans responded fantastically. He won the cover vote, becoming the first goalie to do so in 16 years. Then during the draft, Lou absolutely stole a quality goalie in Cory Schneider for the 9th pick. Although we did not acquire a another top 6 forward that we definitely need, Lou is most certainly going to address this in free agency (though it is impossible to predict what he does, he has hinted at this and I think it's necessity is undeniable).
The cover vote speaks volumes to the Devils desire to succeed. We have the strong fan base that it takes to demand excellence from an organization and cement Newark as a real hockey town. Also, with regards to the draft, we absolutely STOLE THE SHOW. The Schneider acquisition was one of the best draft moves I have ever seen. We are truly a team that is driven to be excellent every single year, and we have the management that is not content with keeping the status quo.
With the Zubrus and Loktionov signings came news of the likely returns of Elias and Peter Harold. Though Clarkson is probably out the door, I am optimistic that we have the ability to bring in a quality winger who can contribute just as much. When I look at our roster, I see a defensive core that has room to trade a couple players away and still have a promising future with the likes of Gelinas, Larsson, and Urbom. I see a goalie in his prime who will get to play with Marty for a year and then take over. I see an offense that, though undoubtedly is struggling, is in a position to make a few moves to be more than adequate (we definitely have the cap space). But most importantly, I see an organization with an attitude that says average is unacceptable. 365 days ago I was not feeling optimistic about the upcoming season. Now I have nothing but optimism for the year to come.
Once again, I apologize for the informal nature of this post. I am simply an ecstatic fan who is proud to be a Devil. Any and all feedback is very much appreciated, as I am looking to become more involved on In Lou We Trust.
Can we realistically hope to make the playoffs next year with out signing 2 top 6 forwards, or would just one do the trick?
Am I way to optimistic about our future?
I would love to hear what you guys have to say about this, as I lack knowledge of the probability of us succeeding in the free agency market ... and I'm sure of other things that you will point out. Thank you very much if you read up to this point, Lets Go Devils!