Today is the first day of the preseason for the New Jersey Devils. The regular season looms not too far in the distance, growing nearer moment by moment. As players prepare and get back into game shape and coaches prepare their game plans with their new rosters, it is also time for you, the fan, to prepare yourself for the upcoming season. That means more than just following the latest news. That means having an understanding of what each player can do. That means having an expectation based in reason for the teams. That means obtaining knowledge not only for your benefit but to help out those who don't know but desperately need to know.
You could go out and purchase one of the season preview specials by a magazine or sports periodical. Or you could be smart and get a massive tome from those who are interested in more than the common narrative in the game today. You should, you can, and hopefully you will pick up a copy of the Hockey Prospectus 2013-14. It's available in a .PDF format right now and orders are now available for a paperback copy. It will be available on Amazon in a few days, but I need to let you know now so you know to get it, absorb it, and become one who knows things.
I must admit, my motivation for this blatant promotion is driven by me. It's self-promotion. I directly contributed to this year's edition. I can now claim to be an author (of sorts). I wrote the profiles for all of the Devils players who appeared last season. I even wrote the profiles for some team in New York that isn't the Islanders. Why would I do that? Simply, editor Timo Seppa asked me on the basis that I know more than enough about other teams and can handle in a professional manner. And I did just that for the benefit of readers around the world who may not know that Dan Girardi may not be, as the kids from 15 years ago may say, all that and a bag of chips. I also wrote an essay about the Devils, summarizing all of their problems and issues from 2013 into one coherent piece. Granted, there were editors who helped make it coherent but my killer line about possession remains. What is it and how good is it? You'll just have to purchase a copy to find out.
But you shouldn't just download a copy or buy the book just because of me - but thank you anyway if you are - as there's so much information that benefits anyone. Want to know about a player the Devils signed but want a different perspective? The annual has that. Want to know about a player on opposing team and see what kind of season VUKOTA projects them to have? The annual has that for hundreds of players. Want to know who the top prospects are coming into this season? The annual has that thanks to the work of Corey Pronman. Want some charts? The annual has them by team for player usage, special teams, offense, and even cap efficiency. The 508 pages (PDF version at least) that makes up the Hockey Prospectus 2013-14 is just loaded with all sorts of information to not only prepare you for the coming season but act as a reference during the season as far as what a team or player has done.
Like Rob Vollman's Hockey Abstract, which I reviewed earlier this summer, the Hockey Prospectus 2013-14 is available in either an electronic format as a PDF or in a paperbook format. The PDF version is available for $14.95 through this link. There's even a deal where you can purchase both PDF versions of Hockey Prospectus 2013-14 and Hockey Abstract for $24.95. That's a good deal if you haven't picked up Vollman's book yet. If you prefer an actual book on actual paper, then you can place orders for it now through Amazon's CreateSpace. It'll be available on Amazon proper in a few days, but there's no need to delay. Either way, the paperbook version costs $24.95. So please purchase it, enjoy the Devils section, learn many more things about the other teams in the league, and get ready for the coming 2013-14 season.