New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero, What You Need To Know


Lou Lamoriello scheduled a media press conference yesterday where he made a huge announcement about the teams future. Lou named Ray Shero, ex Pittsburgh Penguins GM, as the new GM of the New Jersey Devils. It was also announced that Lamoriello will remain with the club as President of hockey operations. Read Phil DeHaven’s article on the new Devils GM Ray Shero.

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This didn’t really come as a surprise to me considering the Devils have missed the playoffs for the last three seasons. Some people thought that Lou would consider having an Assistant GM, but he skipped that process and stepped down from the position. Let’s take a look at Lamoriello’s history with the club, and also let’s look at what Shero has done and what we can expect for the future.

Nearly Three Decades of Lou

Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Lou Lamoriello, as many Devils fans like to call “Uncle Lou” has basically been the centerpiece to the organization for most of the last three decades. Lou came along with the Devils in 1987 just 5 years after the team made its move to New Jersey. Dr. John McMullen, (the owner at the time) named Lou the President of the club and shortly after he named himself the GM at the beginning of the next season.

To say the move was successful is an understatement. For starters, he brought three Stanley Cups to the franchise. The team has been to the Stanley Cup Finals five times losing to only the Colorado Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings. Under Lou Lamoriello, the team has gone to the playoffs 21 of 28 seasons. Thankfully, as Lou said in his own words, “I’m not going anywhere” so we will still his insight within the organization.

Introducing Ray Shero

“I’m different than Lou, there’s no doubt about that and that’s not a bad thing…”-Ray Shero

Devils GM Ray Shero is the newest New Jersey Devils GM in 28 years. Shero was the General Manager in Pittsburgh from 2006 until 2014 and they won a Stanley Cup in the 2008-09 season. During the 2012-13 campaign Shero won the NHL GM of the year. The major problem that new Devils GM Ray Shero will be forced to build around non-superstar forwards in Adam Henrique and Mike Cammalleri as opposed to Malkin and Crosby.

I believe Devils GM Ray Shero is likely to take the franchise in a new direction as he was quoted on Monday saying, “I’m different than Lou, there’s no doubt about that and that’s not a bad thing.” It was definitely a lot easier to build a winner out of a team that had two of the top ten players in the world, but it certainly wasn’t a sure thing. Now Devils GM Ray Shero was recently fired as GM of Pittsburgh along with Head Coach Dan Bylsma after the 2013-14 season.

Shero’s Trading History

In a surprise to few, some of the best moves that Shero made during his time with Pittsburgh was during the team’s Stanley Cup runs. The first major trade he made was when he acquired Pascal Dupuis and Marian Hossa in the 07-08 season. The former Pens GM dealt Colby Armstrong, Angelo Esposito, and a 1st round pick who ended up being a dud. That move brought the Penguins to the Cup finals where they would lose to Detroit. Another big trade he made was dealing Ryan Whitney to the Ducks in return for Chris Kunitz. This was made during the 08-09 season in which the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Cup finals. Now, where do the Devils stand in all of this?

How Shero Can Improve New Jersey

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I think we all know the issues at hand with the team in Newark. They have great goaltending, up and coming defensemen, and very sub par scoring. New Jersey was 28th in scoring goals this season with 181 which averages to roughly 2.2 goals per game. Right there is why I think Lou decided to hire Devils GM Ray Shero. He clearly has an eye for goal scoring. Right now the only Devils major goal scorer is Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique has proved with the right line-mates he can put up points in bunches.

The first order of business is in the NHL draft. Right now the Devils are drafting sixth in the entry draft. The Devils need to find a solidified goal scorer in this years draft. There is a lot of scoring talent in this draft, so the Devils need to be able to land a player that can put the puck in the net. I would love to see a guy like Mitch Marner end up playing for this team in the next few seasons.

Next, I think Devils GM Ray Shero has to find some kind of scoring in free agency. According to the Devils have just under $22 million to spend in cap room this summer. Shero has a lot of money to make some moves to add scoring. According to some of the best free agent forwards going into the off-season are Mike Ribeiro who is 35 years old, but still had 62 points this season or someone younger like Carl Soderberg from Boston.

Soderberg is 29 years old and in the middle of his prime. The Bruins second line center made $1 million last season and had 35 points. It’s no secret that this off-season will have a weak free agent class, so Devils GM Ray Shero may be forced to acquire scoring via trade.

Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

One trade I think makes a lot of sense for Devils GM Ray Shero to pursue is a trade for a guy like TJ Oshie from the St. Louis Blues. There are a few reasons why I think Oshie makes a lot of sense. First of all, the Blues have to sign their young superstar Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko is going to be an RFA which means if he makes it past the RFA signing period other teams can drive up the price on him and the Blues are going to have to match it.

They’re already in cap trouble Devils GM Ray Shero may be able to acquire some of their assets cheap. He should be their number one priority this off-season. I also feel  Oshie can compliment the Devils system very nicely. Oshie is a big bodied forward who can show up on the stat sheet. I think a line next season like Zajac in between Oshie and Cammalleri can work very nicely.

Then, you can add a guy like Soderberg as your second line center and this team that can’t score is starting to shape up a bit. Realistically to get Oshie it would probably take one of the young defenseman (not Adam Larsson) one or both of the second rounders and maybe a forward prospect.

Another team I think Devils GM Ray Shero could think about looking to trade with is with Edmonton. I think a guy like Jordan Eberle. It’s kind of the same circumstances as Oshie. I think that you’re going to have to give up a young defenseman, a potential draft pick, and maybe another mid level prospect.

I personally like the announcement of Devils GM Ray Shero. I think the move was necessary because of the struggles the last few seasons. With a few moves the Devils can be contenders again hopefully sooner rather than later. What do you guys think about new Devils GM Ray Shero?

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