Team: New Jersey Devils
Finished 12th in the East with 84 points. This is now the fourth straight season the Devils iced a team that was bad, but just not bad enough to be really bad. This team is so boring it can't even suck correctly. They somehow manage to even do that in the most uneventful way.
Anyway, the Devils also scored about 11 goals all season, and I'm pretty sure Lee Stempniak- who was traded midseason- was their leading scorer at some point. Sad!
Your Head Coach
Future central casting Lex Luther, John Hynes:
I'm struggling to find anything interesting to say about this guy. Did you know he has a degree in health and physical education? You know how I know that? It was the MOST INTERESTING thing on his entire Wikipedia page!
Your Starting Goalie
Cory Schneider. He only had to play 58 games last year! Among the NHL league leaders in GAA, save percentage, and overall gingerness. Backing him up is Keith Kinkaid, who I am still convinced is a fictional character.
New Things That Suck
Taylor Hall is here! He will surely bring to this club a commitment to winning that will restore this club to its former glory!
Welcome to Edmonton, Connor. Don't mess up everything we've built the last 5 years! #FutureIsBright— Taylor Hall (@hallsy04) June 26, 2015
Okay, maybe not. But good for Hall on leaving Edmonton. New Jersey isn't the nicest place, but it's sure nicer than where he came from. Maybe he can hit up the Shore, do some boating?
Failed my boaters licence again. I'm a joke I just want my licence— Taylor Hall (@hallsy04) June 22, 2011
Yes i realize its an online test and it's open book but I still failed it twice— Taylor Hall (@hallsy04) June 22, 2011
But at least in Hall, you're getting a real student of the game. Someone who clearly has a mind for the sport.
Family Feud is a disgusting show now— Taylor Hall (@hallsy04) February 12, 2014
Oh, and look! The Devils also picked up Beau Bennett and Ben Lovejoy! It's like they asked themselves "what were the least crucial pieces of the Penguins championship team" and then went and got those guys. I'm amazed they didn't throw draft picks at them for Eric Fehr while they were at it.
Also, Patrik Elias retired, for those of you who actually remembered Patrik Elias was still in the league. To be honest with you, I thought he retired in 2009. He probably did, in spirit.
Things That Still Suck
I know you like to pretend your fanbase is somehow classier or above those heathen Rangers fans, but boy do I have some news for you: the only thing that separates you both is the Hudson River. The only way in which Devils fans are superior is that your red jerseys are better at hiding copious ketchup stains. You aren't some a superior model of excellence! As far as I'm concerned, your "rivalry" is just a bunch of equally obnoxious New Yorkers drunkenly trying to fight one another. Who gives a crap?
And really, the assertion that this franchise has some kind of "storied history" is a joke. Your team is on its third marriage after Kansas City and Denver didn't work out. You won three Stanley Cups 10-20 years ago just by bleeding opposing offenses dry, thereby making hockey so patently unwatchable that it got pre-empted for log cutting on ESPN 5. If that wasn't enough to ruin hockey, you basically foisted a lockout on us all by handing Ilya Kovalchuk a contract so blatant in its illegality that the NHL couldn't look the other way as it did every other time. For the last four years, your team has basically been relegated to the dust heap of being utterly forgettable, which is as God intended it.
Hockeywise, this roster is still the Nick at Nite of teams. On any given year, you can count at least half a dozen Devils you forgot were even in the league. Did you know they have Mike Cammalleri? I completely thought he got stranded on a South Pacific island in, like, 2014.
Also, your yearly reminder that Travis Zajac is being paid $5.75MM a season until 2021, which is one year later than the expiry of Taylor Hall's contract. That's still the dumbest way for this team to spend money, and we're talking about a team paying $8.8MM to the corpses of Marc Savard and Ryane Clowe.
Why You Might Not Suck
It's entirely possible Taylor Hall rejuvenates this offense to get you guys to, like, 25th in the league in goals. If Schneider stands on his head, that might actually be enough.