Martin Brodeur scratched himself from Sunday's game after feeling a twinge or a tweak or a pull (whatever language you prefer) in his back during warmups. Initially, the Devils called him day to day and said the injury wasn't believed to be serious. Brodeur sat out practice Tuesday and was sent to see a doctor.

Then, just before 5 p.m. ET, Brodeur became the third Devil to be place on injured reserve in the last two weeks. After a couple hours to think it over, I've come up with a few thoughts on the injury, the roster move and how this affects the Devils going forward...

Why so serious: The first question, obviously, is just how serious is the back injury? And subsequently, how much time will Brodeur legitimately miss? Lou Lamoriello says the doctor who examined Brodeur doesn't believe the injury is serious and the main reason behind him not playing Thursday has to do with the long plane ride to Winnipeg. OK, Lou. I'll bite. That's a fair point. As someone who has sat on a plane for more than two hours while also having a sore back, I can tell you that I was in much worse shape when I get off the plane than when I first boarded. So if there's absolutely no way the Devils want to risk aggravating the injury further by putting Marty on a plane, they still need a backup goalie in Winnipeg in case something happens to Johan Hedberg. But wait -- the Devils already added Hedberg's backup when they recalled Keith Kinkaid from Albany to take Jacob Josefson's spot. If it's all about roster flexibility for one game, mission accomplished, right? Not really -- and it comes back to something we already addressed on the blog: forward depth.

Unless Ryan Carter is activated tomorrow, the Devils only have 12 forwards, one of which is the "banged up" Stefan Matteau. If Carter doesn't feel well enough to return, then DeBoer is forced to roll a group of 12 forwards that includes Krys Barch and a wounded Matteau and if Matteau were to aggravate the injury or is unable to play his normal compliment of minutes, Pete DeBoer would either have to stretch out his top six guys or play the bottom two or three guys more minutes than he's comfortable with. But what about Pete Harrold, you say? Well, let's just cut to the chase on Harrold: He's a wasted roster space. The Devils have had plenty of opportunities to play him at wing but have repeatedly declined to do that. In the end, the Devils had no choice but to place Brodeur on IR and lose him for at least two games because of the way they've managed their roster up to this point by continuing to carry Harrold as the eight defenseman. If they had an extra forward on the NHL roster, they could have left Brodeur behind and waited to see how Carter felt. If he's healthy enough to return, then you place Brodeur on IR and give Carter the spot. Or, you could create a spot while avoiding Brodeur on IR by sending down that 13th forward as long as he doesn't have to clear waivers (Josefson). In that situation, DeBoer, hypothetically, could also pick 12 out of those 13 NHL forward and leave either Matteau or Barch on the bench. In the end, Brodeur was definitely going to miss tomorrow's game and the Devils were forced to lose him for Saturday as well because of their insistence of having eight defensemen on the NHL roster.

Trust factor: All of what I wrote above is contingent on the fact that you trust Lou. And I'm not using trust in the sense that Lou has suddenly lost his ability to be one of the best general managers in the NHL. I'm asking if you trust Lou when he tells you the injury is "minor." Remember, Ryan Carter's injury was "minor" before he went on IR and missed at least eight days. The Devils also called Dainius Zubrus' wrist injury a "minor" issue before Zubrus ended up needing surgery that will sideline him for at least four weeks. Lou hasn't said or done anything differently than almost every other GM in the NHL. Hell, look at the ubiquitous use of "upper-body," "lower-body," and the Rangers' use of "undisclosed" injuries. Teams lie about injuries. They lie to buy themselves time. They lie to give themselves leverage. And they lie sometimes just for the sake of greedily hogging information. But to play devil's advocate, what's to say Lou isn't lying about Brodeur's injury? What if Brodeur will miss more than a couple games and the Devils, in the midst of a serious funk, have to rely on Hedberg and Kinkaid for an extended length of time? Do you trust him then? Again, this is all just to play devil's advocate. As we wrote above, the way the Devils' roster is currently constructed didn't really leave them much choice but to put Brodeur on IR. But if there's anything I've learned with this team, it's not to take them at their word.

Replacement level: It seems somewhat timely that the struggling Devils are faced with starting Hedberg in possibly four straight games after we wondered aloud Sunday night whether the Devils would have to use him less going forward. After allowing two goals combined in his first three starts (2-0-1), Hedberg has allowed 14 goals over his past three (0-3-0). DeBoer says the Devils aren't giving him enough offensive help, which is true. The Devils have scored just four total goals in his last three starts. However, last I checked, the amount of goals a team scores doesn't exactly relate 100 percent to the amount of goals a goalie allows. There is a correlation in the sense that an offensive explosion or even an offensive push in the other direction takes pressure off of your goalie and forces the other team to react rather than attack. Still, what I've seen from Hedberg over those last three starts leads me to believe that he's not going to steal or maybe even win games for the Devils as a starter. That means the Devils are going to have to snap out of their offensive funk and carry the play in front of Hedberg while Brodeur is out, which is at least two games.

Those games are against Winnipeg and Buffalo, both of which are on the road. We saw on Sunday how difficult Winnipeg can be to play against if the Devils don't establish the forecheck and keep the pace of the game under control. If they can't do that, the Jets' defensemen will jump up into the play and can create mismatches that can overwhelm an average goalie (as they did Sunday). As for the Sabres, I would really like the Devils' chances with a semi-rested Hedberg in net, but are the Devils really going to play him in four straight? I don't necessarily think that's wise, which brings us to Kinkaid. We'll have a more in-depth post on Kinkaid before the weekend, but just speaking in generalities, do you want a player's first NHL start to be on the road against a desperate team and a player like Thomas Vanek? I get that the Sabres as a whole are struggling, but all I'm saying is that's an ideal situation for a rookie goalie. Especially a rookie goalie on a Devils team that is starting to slide.

Other options: For this segment, I'm going to need Devils fans to sit down. Everyone sitting down? Let's say, in the absolute worst case scenario, this is an injury that will sideline Brodeur for weeks, not days, and possibly into April. Now that you've imagined life without Marty, take several very deep breaths and remember this is all hypothetical. All set? Good. With that out of the way, let's talk about what the Devils would have in front of them if Marty were to miss a good chunk of the remainder of the season.

There are a couple goalies on the trade market that would be/are available. Chief among them of course is Roberto Luongo, who is very publicly on the block, yet maybe not on the block. It's very confusing. Luongo would obviously represent the closest quality version of a Brodeur replacement. He's got the pedigree, the skill set and the current ability to immediately step in and keep the Devils at the level they're currently playing (three points out of first in the East). He also comes with an exorbitant contract and likely a fairly stiff price tag to pry him from Vancouver. Plus, he's got a no-trade clause and a limited amount of teams for which he'd be willing to waive the clause. There's also the issue of just how willing the Canucks are to deal him considering how well he's been playing overall this season. They seem to like the idea (at least for now) of platooning him and Cory Schneider unless they get blown away by another team. With Brodeur under contract for another season after this one, I find it very hard to believe Lou would be willing to trade a can't-miss package for a 33-year-old goalie with nine years left on his contract after this season.

This brings to three other options on the trade market. One is someone Devils fans are very familiar with: Scott Clemmensen, who currently backs up Jose Theodore in Florida. Although he was never really all that with the Devils, Clemmensen has shown in the past two years that he can cover for a starting goalie for stretches and even play really well at times.  The Panthers already have their goalie of the future in the system in Jacob Markstrom, who is currently toiling in the AHL and needs an NHL roster spot. There's no market for Theodore, so the Panthers either have to leave Markstrom in the AHL for the year, roster three goalies or deal Clemmensen. I can't imagine Clemmensen would cost more than a mid-round pick, although the Devils are already light on those after the Loktionov and Ponikarovsky deals. Perhaps the Devils could offer a conditional 2014 pick that could reach third-round status based on Clemmensen's performance. Of course, Clemmensen and Hedberg would be the epitome of "stop-gap solutions" and Clemmensen has another year left on his deal with a cap hit of $1.3 million, while Hedberg has one year and $1.4 million left. One of them would have to go when/if Brodeur returns and you're essentially trading a third- or fourth-round pick for a few weeks of serviceable play. Not exactly ideal.

Okay, so with no Luongo and no Clemmensen -- I have two other options for you: the Senators' Ben Bishop and the Kings' Jonathan Bernier. Like the Panthers, the Sens have their "goalie of the future" at the AHL level in Robin Lehner. Bishop, meanwhile, is a tantalizing option. He's 6-foot-7 and has been stellar while Craig Anderson has been sidelined and at 26 years old is young enough to potentially be looked at as a long-term replacement for Brodeur. He could come in, platoon with Hedberg and then Brodeur and enter next year in maybe a 60/40 split with Marty before taking on the full-time gig in 2014-15 after Brodeur's contract is up and he retires. However, admittedly, Bishop is a bit of a wild card. He began his career in the Blues organization but was eventually traded to Ottawa for a second-round pick and seems to have dismissed a lot of the concern about his ability to move laterally and is suddenly a very attractive option on the trade market.

If you prefer a goalie with a higher ceiling and stronger pedigree, then maybe Quick is for you. The former first-round pick (11th overall in 2006) has been unofficially on the trading block ever since Jonathan Quick emerged as an All-Star-caliber goalie. He's got loads of potential, has seen his level of play increase every season and even got the experience of the Kings' Stanley Cup run last season. Of course, a guy with that kind of resume at the age of 24 comes with a high price tag in trade talks and Kings GM Dean Lombardi has made it clear he won't just trade Bernier to trade him. The Lightning, who were openly interested in adding a young, franchise-caliber goalie in the offseason, traded for Nashville product Anders Lindback instead. Would Lou be willing to sacrifice multiple young assets (Reid Boucher, maybe?) in order to acquire a 24-year-old potential franchise goalie that could learn at the feet of arguably the greatest goalie ever? That's a question for another day, but intriguing to ponder nonethteless.

Tags: Devils, Devs, Emptying The Bag, Johan Hedberg, Keith Kinkaid, Martin Brodeur, Marty Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, Editorial Aside

Oct 19, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) scores against Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) in the first period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Oct 19, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) scores against Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) in the first period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

Nico Hischier scored twice, Taylor Hall had four assists, and the Devils rallied to beat the Senators, 4-2, at the Canadian Tire Centre. >> Read more

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Sep 21, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Daniel Audette (48) plays the puck and New Jersey Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller (25) defends during the second period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)
Sep 21, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Daniel Audette (48) plays the puck and New Jersey Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller (25) defends during the second period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)

OTTAWA -- Led by a top-ranked power play and a productive rookie class, the New Jersey Devils are off to their best start in nine years.

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Oct 17, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha (37) skates with the puck while being defended by Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Oct 17, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha (37) skates with the puck while being defended by Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Drew Stafford scored the game-tying goal in the third period to force overtime and Kyle Palmieri added the game-winner in a shootout to lead the Devils to a 5-4 win on Tuesday at the Prudential Center. >> Read More

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Sep 21, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid (1) makes a glove save during the second period of the game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)
Sep 21, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid (1) makes a glove save during the second period of the game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)

NEWARK, N.J. -- Last season, neither the Tampa Bay Lightning nor the New Jersey Devils reached the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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Oct 9, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher (8) breaks in on goal during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Hoffman)
Oct 9, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher (8) breaks in on goal during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Hoffman)

Devils rookie D Will Butcher is already breaking team records just five games into the season. 

Butcher has racked up eight assists in five games, which is a Devils record. He has been heavily involved in the Devils' early season success, and has gotten praise from teammates like F Taylor Hall who has been on the receiving end of one of his assists. 

"He's got a lot of skill, he moves the puck well, and he's so smart out there," Hall told NHL.com's Jesse Spector. "That's why we signed him,a nd that's why he was so highly regarded. He's brought a lot to our power play and our power play and our 5-on-5. We need that on our back end. We need guys who move the puck and provide offense and jump in, and it's graet to see quality this early."

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Adam Henrique (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
Adam Henrique (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

The Devils bounced back from their first loss of the season as they topped the Rangers, 3-2, at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. << Read More

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Oct 11, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier (13) skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Oct 11, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier (13) skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils are coming off disappointing losses Friday night.

Only one team will exit the ice satisfied with the outcome Saturday night when the Devils and Rangers begin their season series at Madison Square Garden.

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New Jersey goalie Cory Schneider (35) looks back after the Capitals' T.J. Oshie scored in the first period Friday. (Ed Mulholland)
New Jersey goalie Cory Schneider (35) looks back after the Capitals' T.J. Oshie scored in the first period Friday. (Ed Mulholland)

T.J. Oshie scored two goals and Alex Ovechkin became the fourth player in the NHL's expansion era to score nine goals in his team's first five games of a season as Washington defeated the Devils 5-2 Friday in Newark. It was New Jersey's first loss after winning its first three games of the season

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Apr 5, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the New York Rangers in the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the New York Rangers in the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The surprising New Jersey Devils look to keep the good times rolling Friday night when they host the Washington Capitals at the Prudential Center, a game that features two of the highest scoring teams in the NHL.

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 (Eric Bolte)
(Eric Bolte)

The Devils' Michael McLeod will miss four to six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, the team announced on Thursday.

 

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New Jersey Devils forward Brian Gibbons (39) celebrates his short handed goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils forward Brian Gibbons (39) celebrates his short handed goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

After a back-and-forth first period, the Devils took command in the second and eventually scored their way to a 6-3 win over the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. >> Read more


First Period

  • 8:33 TOR James van Riemsdyk (Power Play); Assists: Mitchell Marner, Morgan Rielly
  • 9:07 NJD Miles Wood; Assists: Steven Santini, Will Butcher
  • 10:45 NJD Miles Wood; Assists: Steven Santini, Will Butcher
Tags: Toronto Maple Leafs
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New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt with the puck as Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane pursues during the first period at KeyBank Center. (Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt with the puck as Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane pursues during the first period at KeyBank Center. (Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)

Jesper Bratt scored two of the New Jersey Devils' four second-period goals en route to a 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday at KeyBank Center. >> Read more


First period:

  • 6:28 NJD Stefan Noesen; Assist: Brian Gibbons
  • 18:56 NJD Gibbons; Assists: Nico Hischier, Marcus Johansson

Second period:

  • 5:02 BUF Evander Kane (power play); Assist: Rasmus Ristolainen
  • 5:23 NJD Jesper Bratt (short handed); Assists: Adam Henrique, Mirco Mueller
  • 7:49 NJD Johansson; Assist: Taylor Hall
  • 12:19 NJD Bratt; Assists: Hall, Andy Greene
  • 18:56 NJD Johansson; Assist: Bratt
Tags: Adam Henrique, Andy Greene, Brian Gibbons, Cory Schneider, Buffalo Sabres, Taylor Hall
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

After what appeared to be a promising start under new coach Phil Housley, the Buffalo Sabres already have their backs against the wall.

That's what a 6-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday night -- where the Sabres allowed two short-handed goals -- will do.

The Sabres (0-1-1) will look to get back on track in a matinee game at home against the New Jersey Devils (3 p.m. ET) on Monday.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres
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Adam Henrique (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
Adam Henrique (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

Adam Henrique got the Devils on the board early as New Jersey cruised to a 4-1 win over the Avalanche in the season opener. >> Read more


First Period

  • 4:04 NJD Adam Henrique (Power Play); Assists: Will Butcher, Kyle Palmieri
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

The New Jersey Devils and Colorado Avalanche combined for only 118 points last season, or the same amount of the Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington Capitals.

On Saturday afternoon at the Prudential Center, the Devils host the Avalanche (1-0-0) as both teams seek to distance themselves from last season.

Colorado already took a step in that direction, defeating the New York Rangers, 4-2, on Thursday night. After finishing last in the league with 22 wins and 48 points in 2016-17, the Avalanche skated into Madison Square Garden and never trailed en-route to a season-opening road victory.

Tags: Colorado Avalanche
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 (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)
(Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)

As the top pick in this year's NHL Draft, Nico Hischier wrote in the Players' Tribune that he is ready to fulfill his dream of playing at the highest professional level. 

Growing up in Switzerland, Hischier didn't get to watch many NHL games because most were not being broadcast in the country. However, at a young age, he was able to don a Devils uniform.

"It's pretty cool how things worked out because this is kind of the second time that I was picked to wear a Devils sweater," Hischier said. "When I was nine years old, there was this awesome tournament in Switzerland - whenever your team entered, you got to be a random NHL team. Like with the full jerseys, with a name and number on the back and everything. For the whole tournament, you were that team. It was sick."

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Brian Boyle (24) carries the puck during the warm up in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals at Air Canada Centre. Washington defeated Toronto 5-4. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Brian Boyle (24) carries the puck during the warm up in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals at Air Canada Centre. Washington defeated Toronto 5-4. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Devils announced their final training camp cuts cuts on Tuesday ahead of the 5 p.m. deadline to finalize 23-man rosters.

Forwards Joseph Blandisi, Nick Lappin, John Quenneville and defenseman Brian Strait were assigned to Binghmaton (AHL) in order to trim the roster to 23 players.

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 (John E. Sokolowski)
(John E. Sokolowski)

Devils C Brian Boyle has been feeling "better and better" since being diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in September. 

Boyle spoke with the media for the first time since the diagnosis, and he immediately brought up how shocked he was by the support he's seen from the NHL community. 

"I've been floored by it, my wife [Lauren], too," Boyle told NorthJersey.com's Andrew Gross. "We've gotten so many calss. Pittsburgh sent a letter signed by everyone, a little note from Sully [coach Mike Sullivan, Boyle's former assistant coach with the Rangers] and Sid [Crosby]."

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

The Devils signed right wing Jimmy Hayes to a one-year, one-way contract on Sunday, GM Ray Shero announced.

The deal, which is worth $700,000, came after the 27-year-old Hayes signed a PTO with the Devils on August 23.

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 (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

 

Tags: Washington Capitals
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Nov 29, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New Jersey Devils head coach John Hynes reacts to a call during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports (Bruce Fedyck)
Nov 29, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New Jersey Devils head coach John Hynes reacts to a call during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports (Bruce Fedyck)

Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal recorded first period goals for the Islanders, but the Devils failed to answer back, losing 3-0 in a split squad matchup. >> Read more

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New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha (37) takes a slap shot against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Nationwide Arena. (Russell LaBounty)
New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha (37) takes a slap shot against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Nationwide Arena. (Russell LaBounty)

The Devils scored five goals in the first period, including two from Pavel Zacha, and went on to defeat the Ottawa Senators, 8-1 on Monday evening at Consolidated Credit Union Place. >> Read more

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Sep 21, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Daniel Audette (48) plays the puck and New Jersey Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller (25) defends during the second period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)
Sep 21, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Daniel Audette (48) plays the puck and New Jersey Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller (25) defends during the second period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)

Drew Stafford scored the game-winning goal in the third quarter to lead the Devils to a 2-1 win over the Rangers on Saturday at the Prudential Center. >> Read more


First Period 

  • No goals 

Second Period

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Sep 21, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid (1) makes a glove save during the second period of the game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)
Sep 21, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid (1) makes a glove save during the second period of the game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)

Jesper Bratt scored two goals in the third period and Keith Kinkaid saved 28 of 29 shots to help the Devils defeat the Canadiens, 4-1, on Thursday at the Bell Centre. >> Read more

Tags: Devin Smith, Keith Kinkaid
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New Jersey Devils right wing Nick Lappin (36) and New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) fight for the puck during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils right wing Nick Lappin (36) and New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) fight for the puck during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports)

With four seconds left in overtime, Filip Chytil scored to give the Rangers a 4-3 win over the Devils on Wednesday night. >> Read more

First Period 

  • 15:54 NYR: Kevin Hayes (Power Play); Assists: Jimmy Vesey, Kevin Shattenkirk

Second Period

  • 4:11 NJD: Pavel Zacha; Assists: Drew Stafford, Miles Wood
  • 4:32 NYR: Chris Kreider; Assist: Mats Zuccarello
  • 7:15 NJD: Brian Gibbons (Power Play); Assists: Drew Stafford, Jimmy Hayes
  • 10:16 NYR: David Desharnais; Assists: Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Kreider
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Brian Boyle (24) carries the puck during the warm up in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals at Air Canada Centre. Washington defeated Toronto 5-4. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Brian Boyle (24) carries the puck during the warm up in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals at Air Canada Centre. Washington defeated Toronto 5-4. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Devils C Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, the team announced on Tuesday.

Devils GM Ray Shero said the cancer was found through routine bloodwork at the beginning of the team's training camp. Boyle has missed practice throughout the week.

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New Jersey Devils center Marcus Johansson skates during the pregame warmups for the NHL preseason game between the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils center Marcus Johansson skates during the pregame warmups for the NHL preseason game between the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

The New Jersey Devils blew out the Washington Capitals, 4-1, on Monday at Prudential Center. >> Read more

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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

The Devils re-signed D Damon Severson to a six-year, $25 million contract, GM Ray Shero announced Monday.

Severson, 23, has spent his first three NHL seasons with the Devils, who now have him under contract until the 2022-23 season. 

"Damon brings an important dimension to our hockey club and he is a young defenseman that we are excited to work with," Shero said. "This deal shows our ownership's commitment in what we continue to build here. We look forward to helping Damon continue to grow and develop as a player."

Tags: Damon Severson
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Denver Pioneers defenseman Will Butcher (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
Denver Pioneers defenseman Will Butcher (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The New Jersey Devils agreed to a two-year entry deal worth $925,000 annually with former University of Denver defenseman Will Butcher, the team announced Sunday.

Butcher, 22, became an unrestricted free agent earlier in the month when he chose not to sign with the Colorado Avalanche.

Butcher won the Hobey Baker Award last season after totaling seven goals and 30 assists. He recorded 28 goals and 75 assists in 158 career games with Denver. 

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 (Winslow Townson)
(Winslow Townson)

The Devils have signed veteran winger Drew Stafford to a one-year deal. 

The deal is worth $800,000 as GM Ray Shero announced the signing on Friday. 

Stafford split time with the Boston Bruins and Winnipeg Jets last season where he totaled eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points

The 31-year-old took a tremendous pay cut after making $4.35 million the past two seasons. He has totaled 400 points since joining the NHL in 2006.

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New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

The New Jersey Devils have lost top center Travis Zajac for four to six months with a pectoral injury.

Devils executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero announced that Zajac had surgery to repair the pectoral muscle on Thursday.

Shero said the Zajac was hurt last week during offseason training. >> Read more

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press

Tags: Travis Zajac
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New Jersey Devils left wing Patrik Elias (26) skates in warmups before his game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils left wing Patrik Elias (26) skates in warmups before his game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

The Devils will retire Patrik Elias' No. 26 during a pregame ceremony on Feb. 24, the team announced Wednesday.

Elias underwent knee surgery prior to last season and looked to make a comeback bid to the ice, but decided to hang up his skates this March. He did not suit up during any game last year. 

Tags: Patrik Elias
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 (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
(Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Devils F Ilya Kovalchuk will likely make his return to the NHL in the 2018-19 season, per NJ.com's Chris Ryan. 

Kovalchuk expressed interest in returning to the NHL this season with the Devils granting him permission to seek a deal with other teams. However, he told Russia-24 TV that he will likely play one last season in the SKA before returning to the states. 

As Kovalchuk sought deals this season, the Devils were not opposed to making a sign-and-trade. However, GM Ray Shero said the deal had to make sense for the Devils. 

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Center Nico Hischier, chosen by the New Jersey Devils in the first round of the NHL hockey draft, puts on a jersey at the draft in Chicago. (AP)
Center Nico Hischier, chosen by the New Jersey Devils in the first round of the NHL hockey draft, puts on a jersey at the draft in Chicago. (AP)

The Devils have signed first overall pick Nico Hischier to a maximum entry-level three-year contract, Vice President/GM Ray Shero announced on Saturday.

Hischier's contract is worth $925,000 AAV and includes performance bonuses. The 18-year-old just completed New Jersey's Development Camp on Saturday, according to the team.

Hischier tallied 38 goals and 48 assists in 57 games for for Halifax (QMJHL) in 2016-17, which was the most among rookies. In the playoffs, Hischier scored three goals and had four assists. 

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Mar 19, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) makes a save during the third period at Prudential Center. The Blue Jackets defeated the Devils 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Mar 19, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) makes a save during the third period at Prudential Center. The Blue Jackets defeated the Devils 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Despite the Devils lacking on the defensive front last season, G Cory Schneider believes the group the team already has, per NJ.com's Chris Ryan. 

Instead of the defense needing to improve, Schneider thinks the goals allowed last season were his fault. He knows that if he plays his game, there is bound to be a drastic change.

"Defensively, we're returning a lot of the guys we had last year. Goal prevention may have been more of a me issue than a team defense issue," Schneider said. "If I can play the way I know I can, it will obviously clear up any holes for defensive issues we have. I trust our defensemen. They player hard last year, they played their hearts out. We expect the same from them this year."

Tags: Cory Schneider
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GEICO SportsNite: Hischier 00:01:07
The number one overall pick in the NHL draft, Nico Hischier, talks with Justine Ward about his first practice with the New Jersey Devils.

The number one overall pick in the NHL draft, Nico Hischier, talks with Justine Ward about his first practice with the New Jersey Devils.


 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

Devils newest F Marcus Johansson is embracing the role as an underdog with the Devils, and believes the team can surprise the league this season, per NJ.com's Chris Ryan. 

Johansson knows playoff hockey, having made the postseason in six seasons with the Washington Capitals including last year. Now, he is on the other side of the spectrum with the Devils searching for their first playoff berth since the 2011-12 season where they lost in the Stanley Cup Final. 

Though the Devils were 12 games under .500 last season, he thinks the team is on the right path toward winning this year. 

"It's something that's moving in the right direction I fee like, and I don't mind being an underdog here," Johansson said. "I think we have a great team and if we can just put all the pieces together, I think we can surprise some people."

Tags: Marcus Johansson
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This offseason, the Devils allowed Beau Bennett to walk in free agency and bought out the contract of forward Mike Cammalleri

Bennett, a UFA, signed a one-year deal worth $650,000 with the Blues after leaving New Jersey. The Devils never really made a serious offer to Bennett, who notched 19 points in 65 games. 

Tags: Beau Bennett, Mike Cammalleri
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Devante Smith-Pelly (25) skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Devante Smith-Pelly (25) skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

The Capitals have agreed to terms with former Devil Devante Smith-Pelly on a one-year, two-way deal, the team announced. 

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Washington Capitals center Marcus Johansson (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)
Washington Capitals center Marcus Johansson (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)

The New Jersey Devils acquired forward Marcus Johansson from the Washington Capitals in exchange for 2018 second- and third-round picks.

Johansson, 26, recorded 24 goals and 34 assists in 82 games during the regular season and two goals and six assists in 13 playoff games for Washington.

A first-round pick in 2009, Johansson has 102 goals and 188 assists in 501 career NHL games.

The Devils will give up Florida's second-round pick and Toronto's third-round pick next season.

Tags: Washington Capitals
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 (Russell LaBounty/USA TODAY Sports)
(Russell LaBounty/USA TODAY Sports)

The Kings are expected to sign LW Michael Cammalleri to a one-year, $1 million deal, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie

The Devils had placed Cammalleri and RW Devante Smith-Pelly on unconditional waivers, for the purpose of buying out their contracts, the team announced Friday.

Tags: Mike Cammalleri
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Brian Boyle (24) carries the puck during the warm up in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals at Air Canada Centre. Washington defeated Toronto 5-4. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Brian Boyle (24) carries the puck during the warm up in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals at Air Canada Centre. Washington defeated Toronto 5-4. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Devils have signed free agent F Brian Boyle to a two-year deal worth $6.1 million, according to Chris Ryan of NJ.com.

The 32-year-old forward, who played the final 21 games with the Maple Leafs last year, reportedly was interested in returning to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Between Toronto and Tampa Bay in 2016-17, Boyle recorded 13 goals and 12 assists in 75 games.

The former New York Ranger has notched 93 goals, 76 assists and a minus-20 in 624 NHL games. 

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Devils introduce Hischier 00:00:54
The New Jersey Devils introduce their first overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft, Nico Hischier, on Monday night

New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

The New Jersey Devils extended qualifying offers to nine players, including defenseman Damon Severson and forward Blake Coleman, on Monday.

The Devils also extended offers to defenseman Vojtech Mozik, goaltender Scott Wedgewood and forwards Joseph BlandisiStefan NoesenBlake PietilaKevin Rooney and Ben Thomson.

Players have until July 15 to sign a contract with the team. They may sign an offer sheet with another team, but the Devils are given the right of first refusal or draft choice compensation.

The league's salary arbitration phase takes place from July 20 to Aug. 4.

Tags: Damon Severson
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 (David Banks)
(David Banks)

The New Jersey Devils drafted 11 players in the 2017 NHL Draft, including two third round picks, two fifth round picks, and three seventh round picks.


Round 1, 1st overall pick: C Nico Hischier

Scouting report...

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A general view during the national anthem prior to the start of the game between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. (Andy Marlin)
A general view during the national anthem prior to the start of the game between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. (Andy Marlin)

The Devils selected C Jesper Boqvist with the fifth pick in the second round of the NHL Draft on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago.

Boqvist had six assists in 16 games for Brynas IF in 2016-17 before moving to Timra IK, where he scored three goals and added nine assists in 19 games. In seven games of international competition at the IIHF U18 World Championship in 2016, he had two goals and an assist in seven games.

"The left-shot forward has great speed with offensive skill. Boqvist (6-0, 179) is a very good skater with good first-step quickness and balance," said Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com. "He's a skilled puck carrier, and effective in traffic."

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Center Nico Hischier, chosen by the New Jersey Devils in the first round of the NHL hockey draft, puts on a jersey at the draft in Chicago. (AP)
Center Nico Hischier, chosen by the New Jersey Devils in the first round of the NHL hockey draft, puts on a jersey at the draft in Chicago. (AP)

The Devils selected Swiss center Nico Hischier with the No. 1 pick Friday night at the first NHL draft to ever be held in Chicago. Hischier, 18, had 38 goals and 86 points for the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey Legue last season.

He is the highest-drafted Swiss player in NHL history and is known for his speed and excellent skating ability. He is listed at 6 foot and 179 pounds. He won the Michael Bossy Trophy (Best Professional Prospect) and Michael Bergeron Trophy (Offensive Rookie of the Year) last year.

New Jersey is coming off a last-place finish with a 28-40-14 record last season. The Devils also have the No. 36 pick in this year's draft.

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The Devils will kick off their 2017-18 season against the Colorado Avalanche on October 7 at the Prudential Center. 

View the full schedule here.

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Mar 7, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand (28) is checked by New Jersey Devils defenseman Jon Merrill (7) in the second period at Nationwide Arena.  (Aaron Doster (USA Today))
Mar 7, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand (28) is checked by New Jersey Devils defenseman Jon Merrill (7) in the second period at Nationwide Arena. (Aaron Doster (USA Today))

The Devils have lost defenseman Jon Merrill in the Expansion Draft to the Las Vegas Golden Knights. 

Tags: Jon Merrill
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