Ray Shero Approval Poll: Early Grade For The 2015 Off-Season


The 2015 NHL off-season is still extremely young, but the New Jersey Devils have been one of the busiest teams so far. They’ve re-signed Jordin Tootoo, extended Keith Kinkaid, signed two players from Europe and have overhauled their coaching staff and GM. With GM Ray Shero taking over for longtime Devils GM Lou Lamoriello he has big shoes to fill and will not have as much leash as Lamoriello had throughout the years. There’s still plenty to be done this off-season, but lets recap all that’s happened up to Wednesday, June 17th.

More from Devils News

The New Jersey Devils off-season began with back-up goaltender

Keith Kinkaid being extended by GM Lou Lamoriello for two years

. This was a move many anticipated and was well deserved given his strong play last season. Then, in a move not many expected would happen this year Lou Lamoriello announced he would be stepping aside as GM to become the team President.

Ray Shero was hired as the new GM

and shortly after that it was announced that

Jordin Tootoo was re-signed on a one-year deal

. The deal was agreed upon prior to Lamoriello stepping aside so it wasn’t truly Ray Shero’s first official move.

The next task to be accomplished in what has been a busy New Jersey Devils off-season was finding a new head coach. After being the last NHL team without a head coach, Ray Shero brought in an old friend and hired John Hynes to be the next Devils Head Coach. Ray Shero was extremely familiar with Hynes since he was the head coach of the Penguins AHL affiliate during his time as GM in Pittsburgh. In their next search for assistant coaches Hynes’ past experiences played a big part in the assistant coaches decision announced on Wednesday.

More From Pucks & Pitchforks: Adam Larsson Will Be A Big Part Of The Devils Rebuild

Alain Nasreddine and Geoff Ward were named the assistants under John Hynes leaving former Devils coach and defenseman Scott Stevens without a job. I do believe the hiring of Nasreddine and Ward are beneficial for the Devils, but I do think Stevens also deserved one of the assistant coach positions. Now the Devils sit with an incomplete roster and tons of questions remaining to be answered. They have numerous UFAs and especially RFAs like Adam Larsson, Eric Gelinas and Stefan Matteau who haven’t even received qualifying offers yet.

Then there’s the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, which will be a huge aspect of the New Jersey Devils rebuild. The staff here are all on board with taking Mathew Barzal if he’s available at 6, but the Devils have reportedly shown a lot of interest in Pavel Zacha. Shortly after the draft starts free agency on July 1st and while this year’s free agent group may not be full of stars, the Devils will be looking to fill some holes in their roster.

More From Pucks & Pitchforks: New Jersey Devils Add Depth With Signing Of Mozik

While he has signed two players from Europe in Sergey Kalinin and Vojtech Mozik, Tom Gulitti recently reported that Ray Shero hasn’t really discussed contracts with Devils UFAs and RFAs yet. While he does still have time before free agency begins, he cannot afford to wait much longer as the busiest part of the off-season is about to begin. He spent plenty of time finding the right head coach and assistants, but now he needs to construct a roster for those coaches to lead.

It’s still early on in the 2015 off-season, but we want to hear from you about the grade you’d give Ray Shero thus far as Devils GM. Please let us know by voting in the poll below and be sure to check our twitter page for the results!