5 Players That Rocked New Jersey Devils When They Departed

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Earlier this week, the New Jersey Devils traded Taylor Hall to the Arizona Coyotes for a package of prospects and draft picks. Some folks were sad, some mad and others glad. Regardless of how you feel about Hall now, this could not have been the ending we envisioned for him and the Devils entering this season. Sadly, losing good players has become an all too familiar reality for fans of this franchise. The former league MVP is just the latest and he joins a long list of star players to leave the Garden State behind for greener pastures.

As frustrating as it is to lose a player like Taylor Hall, his departure does not compare to the exodus of other former Devils. I have assembled my own personal list of five players that rocked the franchise with their departures.

Bobby Holik

Bobby Holik played 11 seasons with the Devils and was part of the famed “Crash Line” along with Randy McKay and Mike Peluso. The trio rock and rolled New Jersey onto a shocking Stanley Cup run in 1995. Holik had four consecutive 20+ goals seasons with the Devils from 1996 to 2000 and later won a second Cup with the team in 1999-00.

The 6’ 4”, 240lb. Czech was a bruising force that endeared himself to the New Jersey faithful, but he all but eradicated any and all goodwill and forever vilified himself to the fanbase when he bolted from Jersey to sign a mega-deal with the hated New York Rangers prior to the 2002-03 season. In a somewhat shocking turn of events, Holik returned to the Devils for the 2008-09 season, it would be his last. He retired that summer following an 18-year NHL career.

When Holik decided to join the Rangers is sent shockwaves through the fanbase. He had become such an integral part of the Devils’ identity that seeing him wearing the enemy’s sweater was both gut-wrenching and sickening. I’m sick just writing this.