New Jersey Devils: 5 Things That Ruined 2019-20 Season

Taylor Hall - New Jersey Devils (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
Taylor Hall - New Jersey Devils (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9): Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Jersey Devils had arrived during the 2019-20 season, going all in on its assets to become a contender. The season fell apart immediately. Let’s take a look back at what went wrong in one of the worst Devils seasons in history. 

The 2019 offseason was one of the most fun times to be a New Jersey Devils fan. They won the first-overall pick and the opportunity to take a future superstar in Jack Hughes. On the very next day, they traded for star defenseman P.K. Subban. In free agency, they were able to sign Wayne Simmonds to a low-risk deal to add depth to the lineup. Then, they traded for Nikita Gusev and the roof went off for this fanbase.

Everyone was loving the moves Ray Shero made. The Devils were going into the season with a healthy Taylor Hall, a superstar defenseman in Subban on top of Sami Vatanen and Damon Severson, giving them a great right side. The left side wasn’t the best, but the situation would fix itself because Subban could carry the load.

The Devils surprisingly made the playoffs in 2018 thanks to the workings of Hall, Vatanen, and Keith Kinkaid. This time, it would be a team effort. The Devils had budding stars like Nico Hischier and Blake Coleman, and they had established stars like Hall, Subban, and Cory Schneider. The stars were aligning, and Shero did a masterful job fixing the situation on the fly.

Yeah, that’s what we would have said if it worked. It didn’t. It worked out so terribly, actually. The head coach was fired by December (and should have been earlier, probably). The GM was fired in January. At the end of the season, the Devils had sold everything that wasn’t a future asset. Hall was traded in December for a pool of assets. Coleman was traded for two really good assets. Captain Andy Greene was traded. They also moved Simmonds, Vatanen, and Coleman in deadline deals.

The team finished last in the Metropolitan Division. They were the only Metro team not to make the expanded NHL playoffs due to the COVID-19 pause. It was awful, and the Devils weren’t nearly as well thought out as we thought they were. In a little bit of revisionist history, let’s take a look at what went wrong with that season.