New Jersey Devils: 5 Reasons to Stand Pat at NHL Trade Deadline

(Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

1. The team has played better since the departures of Hynes and Hall

Former New Jersey Devils and current Nashville Predators head coach John Hynes’ last game here was a 7-1 road loss at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres on Dec. 2. The Devils were mercilessly trailing 5-0 heading into the first intermission. Since then, with interim head coach Alain Nasreddine at the helm, the team has a record of 11-11-6, good for 28 points in 28 games. In the 26 games prior, Hynes coached his squad to a record of 9-13-4, good for 22 points.

The numbers look a bit better following the Taylor Hall trade; with the team going a respectable 10-7-5 since the former MVP was dealt on Dec. 16. This isn’t a knock against Hall; he is an extremely talented player and there isn’t a doubt that he made the Devils’ roster better, regardless of the team’s play.

Hynes was well on his way to missing the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons as Devils head coach. In his four full seasons prior to this year, the Devils sat at the bottom of the Metropolitan division twice and are probably likely to finish there in 2020. Meanwhile, after the bad start this season, it became apparent that Hall was not going to sign an extension with the team nor would it have been smart for the organization to pay him top dollar to stay. There’s nothing to suggest that Hynes was a bad coach or that Hall was a problem in the room. However, their situations clearly made the team crack under pressure. Perhaps the Devils’ improved pace since their departures just displays that the organization was ready to move on from the duo.