How Ray Shero Can Improve New Jersey Devils and Move Taylor Hall

As Pierre LeBrun tweeted out earlier today, it looks as if the Taylor Hall era with the New Jersey Devils is taking its first steps to ending.

“Hearing that the Devils have started to listen from teams on Taylor Hall. Doesn’t mean they will for sure trade him but given their place in the standings and the magnitude of a potential deal, GM Ray Shero is now in listening mode.. If and when he’s dealt, I would expect the deal to have a conditional nature to it so that if he re-signs with his new club there will be additional asset(s)… Either way, this isn’t necessarily a deal if it happens that must wait until Feb. 24 deadline.”

To put this into perspective, teams like the Colorado Avalanche have a lot of pieces that have skill, depth, speed, physicality, and grit. Colorado has been a team that does make sense. Greg Wyshynski however tweeted out:

“I’ve heard NJ has scouted Colorado at all levels this season. A logical potential partner from a cap/talent coming back perspective. That said, the Devils have played around a 91-point pace for nearly 20 games and have stabilized some of the problems it had in that horrible start. Not convinced they’re selling this early.”

At this point, it’s an 89-point pace after the recent loss in the matinee game. With a lot of young players not named Cal Makar (forget about him, no way he’s going to get traded) from Colorado, the Avalanche are gonna have to pay up big time money to Andre Burakovsky an RFA who could earn upwards of $4 million this summer.

On Colorado’s defense, Samuel Girard will be getting $5 million next season and every season through July 1st, 2026. Nikita Zadorov is the kind of player that can be tossed into a package for Hall because Shero needs a big, physical, skilled defender who isn’t an RFA until July 1, 2021 who could get a decent pay raise.

Who to look for in possible Hall package from Colorado; Connor Timmins, Bowen Byram (maybe),  Shane Bowers, and Martin Kaut. The Devils have had a chance on getting Bowers, and Kaut in recent drafts, but any of these players in a blockbuster package could be worthwhile along with a Colorado 2020 1st round pick. It could certainly help Shero build around Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, and Mackenzie Blackwood.

Changing Things Up:

Since John Hynes’ extension last season, it just doesn’t seem Hynes is worth the money. 9-11-4 is still a painful start to the season. The power play has been atrocious recently along with Taylor Hall who has one power play goal. Forget about his nine power play assists, it just doesn’t cut it. Kyle Palmieri has four goals, while Wayne Simmonds, and Jack Hughes are the team’s top three leaders in power play goals. The power play doesn’t work well enough outside those 3 players. There needs to be a change in the power play coaching, and the strategy needs an overhaul.

Next: It's Time To Blow it Up

Another thing that has to be revamped is the defense and penalty kill. Today was a sample size of how leaky and careless the Devils defense has been. But it seems Hynes’ staff abandons the principles from The Art of War. One of them being easily deceived and outsmart. When the Devils were in the Rangers offensive zone, no one would’ve thought Gusev would fall and cough up the puck. Yet Nikita’s support was too far up in the high danger zone leaving him vulnerable. The Rangers on the PK had an odd man rush had a very clean offensive zone entry that ended up drawing guys like a tired Sami Vatanen to move from his strong side to off side. That Brendan Lemieux pass was part of the speed and deception on that goal against.

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If Coach Hynes is smart enough to adopt to follow The Art of War, the Devils would be more successful following through on defense, offense, and winning the battles in the neutral zone. However, it seems this coaching staff seems that they aren’t well rounded in pre-game preparation, and they seem like the need to study up on improving their pre-game and game-day strategy. The next coaching staff to join the New Jersey Devils must obey The Art of War. Other wise fans will keep booing.

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