New Jersey Devils

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The New Jersey Devils play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.

The club was founded as the Kansas City Scouts in 1974, but after only 2 seasons moved to Denver to become the Colorado Rockies. They would move once again to New Jersey in 1982 and the Devils were born.

The Devils play their home games in Newark at the Prudential Center, which first opened for the 2007–08 season. Previously, the Devils began play in East Rutherford, New Jersey at the Brendan Byrne Arena, later renamed the Continental Airlines Arena and now the Izod Center, where they would call home through the 2006-07 season.

The franchise was poor to mediocre for most of its first 13 seasons, only making the playoffs once. However, under current president/general manager Lou Lamoriello, the Devils have made the playoffs in 19 out of the last 21 seasons, including each of the last 12. They won the Stanley Cup in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

Hoping to light a spark under the team, McMullen hired Providence College coach and athletic director Lou Lamoriello as team president in April 1987. Lamoriello appointed himself general manager shortly before the 1987–88 season. This move came as a considerable surprise to NHL circles. Although Lamoriello had been a college coach for 19 years, he had never played, coached, or managed in the NHL and was almost unknown outside the American college hockey community. The 1987–88 Devils garnered the first winning record in the franchise’s 14-year history. The team made it all the way to the conference finals, but lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games.

Jacques Lemaire was brought in by Lamoriello as head coach in 1993-94. The New Jersey Devils went on to record their first 100 point season and the second best in the NHL behind the future Stanley Cup Champions, the New York Rangers.

Most importantly, this season witnessed the emergence of Martin Brodeur. He won the Calder Trophy as the leagues top rookie and he finished 2nd in goals against average and 4th in save percentage during the regular season, helping him eventually land the starting job over Terreri.

Brodeur was like a third defenceman when it came to playing the puck, which was the key for allowing the defensive minded Devils to clog the blue line with interference style hooking and grabbing. This tactic forced teams to dump the puck in and while being held up in “the trap”, Brodeur would simply dump the puck back out. Although boring to watch, this system would prove all too effective (which lead to other teams using the same strategy) and would eventually lead to the NHL making several rule changes to try to open the game back up.

In 1995, the season shortened by the lockout, “the trap” was so successful for them that they would capture their first Stanley Cup in dominating fashion, sweeping the Detroit Red Wings in the Finals and only surrendering 7 goals in the series.

They would win their second Stanley Cup in 1999-2000 with future Hall Of Fame Defenceman Scott Stevens winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Known for his staunch defence and devastating body checks, Stevens and Brodeur were the identity of the Devils.

Their last Cup came in 2003 over the Anaheim Ducks in 7 games. After the first cup in 1995, the Devils missed the playoffs the following year. That was the last time they failed to reach the playoffs and have been a model of consistency ever since. It will be Interesting to see who Lou Lamoriello finds to fill the head coaching job recently vacated by Brent Sutter. After finishing first in the Atlantic Division last year, Sutter stepped down as head coach of the Devils and will likely end up in Calgary.

With Brodeur and Patrik Elias returning for 2009-10 along with rising stars like Zack Parise, the Devils will be a contender as usual in the Eastern Conference.

1st Round Draft Picks
 

Franchise Scoring Leaders

Year # Player Player
G
A
Pts
2009 20 Jacob Josefson Patrik Elias*
295
411
706
2008 24 Mattias Tedenby
John MacLean
347
354
701
2007 Traded pick Kirk Muller
185
335
520
2006 30 Matthew Corrente Scott Niedermayer
112
364
476
2005 23 Nicklas Bergfors Bobby Holik
202
268
470
2004 20 Travis Zajac Aaron Broten
162
307
469
2003 17 Zach Parise Scott Gomez
116
334
450
2002 Traded pick Scott Stevens
93
337
430
2001 28 Adrian Foster Bruce Driver
83
316
399
2000 22 David Hale Petr Sykora
145
205
350