October 05, 2015

NEW JERSEY DEVILS

LAST SEASON: 32-36-14, 78 points. Failed to make the playoffs for a third straight year.

COACH: John Hynes (first NHL season)

ADDED: C Kyle Palmieri, C Pavel Zacha, RW Lee Stempniak, C Sergey Kalinin, D John Moore, C Jiri Tlusty.

LOST: General manager Lou Lamoriello, F Steve Bernier, F Scott Gomez, F Michael Ryder.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Adam Henrique: At age 25, Henrique is no longer the young kid. He's become the face of the Devils' franchise and a team leader. He was the team's leading scorer with a paltry 43 points. He's coming off wrist surgery, but says he's fine. Whether that means he's ready to gain All-Star status is another thing.

OUTLOOK: The Devils cleaned out the Lamoriello era and brought in Ray Shero to be the general manager and an unproven Hynes to be the head coach. However, they really didn't do much to their roster, especially in terms of finding a goal scorer or two. Mike Cammalleri's 27 goals were nice last year, but there were too many times that the team depended on goalkeeper Cory Schneider to keep them in games. Hynes said that his new philosophy will lead to more scoring chances, but that remains to be seen. Even he admits it's ''a work in progress.'' But this doesn't have the look and feel of a playoff team. The Devils will likely make it four straight years without a playoff appearance, an unfathomable idea for a franchise that went to the playoffs 16 straight years.

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