The New Jersey Devils beat all the expectations in the 2022-23 season. Now, they are looking to build a true contender in the 2023 offseason.
This offseason is one of the biggest in a long time for the New Jersey Devils. It’s probably the biggest since 2012, when the team was coming off a Stanley Cup Final appearance and had to negotiate against the rest of the league for Zach Parise. What many didn’t realize is the Devils actually had decisions to make on not only Parise, but on Martin Brodeur, Bryce Salvador, and the entire fourth line.
That’s right, not only did the team’s superstar wait until the offseason to make his decision, but the team’s superstar goaltender and every member of the famous fourth line (Stephen Gionta, Ryan Carter, and Steve Bernier) went into the offseason without a contract.
This offseason isn’t that serious because most decisions are for restricted free agents, but the Devils still have a ton left to do. After committing to Lindy Ruff, the Devils now have to focus on the players. However, it’s more than just signings. There’s a lot that will happen this offseason. Let’s get bold and predict what we think will happen.
Bold Prediction #1: Andrew Brunette Returns
This might seem almost impossible right now, but Andrew Brunette still has a good chance to return to the New Jersey Devils. He’s in the mix for just about every open job. We’ve heard his name for the Rangers, Flames, Blue Jackets, and Ducks head coaching vacancies. However, is there a job where he’s the top candidate? It seems like he’s in a lot of conversations, but that doesn’t mean he will end up with a job.
Brunette might see something in the Devils. None of the teams with vacancies short of the Rangers will give him as good a chance to win a Stanley Cup. Lindy Ruff is re-signing, but for how long? If it’s two years, Brunette can take over after and try to win a Stanley Cup with a core of Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Luke Hughes, and Simon Nemec. It might make the most sense for him, especially if he can negotiate a raise to be the associate head coach.