New Jersey Devils: Fans Have Been Through A Lot Since 2012

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils fans have been through a lot since losing the 2012 Stanley Cup Final to the Los Angeles Kings. A lot has happened in those years.

One of the saddest and most disappointing moments in New Jersey Devils history came in June of 2012. After Adam Henrique provided the thrill of a lifetime in the series before against the New York Rangers, the Los Angeles Kings defeated them in six games to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. It was a sad time and things haven’t been the same since. Leading up to that series, the Devils were one of the few consistently good teams in the league.

Since then, things have really started to fall out. Zach Parise left New Jersey a month later to go home to the Minnesota Wild.  The following year was a lockout-shortened year that saw the Devils play well at times but the inconstant play and an injury to Martin Brodeur caused them to miss the playoffs. Since then, things started to really derail.

Ilya Kovalchuk retired to go play in the KHL. Brodeur and Patrik Elias eventually retired. They fired Peter DeBoer and used a combination of Lou Lamoriello, Scott Stevens, and Adam Oates to coach them down the stretch. Then, Ray Shero was hired to be the team’s first new general manager in multiple decades. Lou left to go to the Toronto Maple Leafs, which shocked a lot of people.

Since then, Ray Shero hired John Hynes to be the head coach and both were fired in the middle of this season. They won the NHL Draft Lottery in 2017 and selected Nico Hischier. He has been a great player, but has a lot of growing to do. They made the playoffs in his first year but were defeated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games. The next season, they missed again and won the lottery again. They selected Jack Hughes with the first pick. These two are the key to the future.

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Some elite players have come and gone despite the tough times. They traded for Cory Schneider in 2013 at the draft and he was an elite goalie for a long time. Injuries and inconsistent play in recent years have caused his future to look bleak. Make no question about it, however, he was so good when the team wasn’t very. He may have even cost them a chance at Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, or Auston Matthews because he was so good while the team was bad.

Taylor Hall came and played games with our hearts as well.  They traded Adam Larsson to the Edmonton Oilers for Hall. He came in and was New Jersey’s best player for three and a half years. He won the Hart Trophy at the end of 2018 for his efforts in the 2017-18 season. Then, after lots of rumors about his future, New Jersey traded him to the Arizona Coyotes making it multiple MVP-caliber players that they have lost since 2012.

The Devils have been through a lot and their fans have been through it right there with them. With Hischier and Hughes in place amongst some other great young players, this franchise does have a chance to rise at some point. There are some very loyal fans out there that deserve to watch a winning team play at the Prudential Center. We will rise soon.