5 Mistakes New Jersey Devils and Tom Fitzgerald Must Avoid This Offseason

The New Jersey Devils are facing their most important offseason in a long time. There are some mistakes Tom Fitzgerald must avoid at all costs.
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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5. Keep This Current Defensive Unit

This one is underrated, but the New Jersey Devils technically have six starting defensemen signed for next season. However, even with the natural progression of players like Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec, the Devils should not rest on the laurels of this defense. After fielding one of the better defensive units in hockey in 2022-23, this unit ended up being one of the worst. 

We’ve talked a lot about how the goalies must be better next season, but the defenders didn’t help things this season. Jonas Siegenthaler and John Marino took multiple steps back. Smith did as well. Dougie Hamilton missed most of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. The Devils need upgrades this offseason.

Should the Devils spend big on a defenseman this offseason? It would be nice, but it would take away from the budget they have allocated for upgrades at forward and in net. 

It’s a delicate balance, but repeating this year's issues would be a mistake. Some money has to be used on the defense, and adding a depth guy won’t be enough. The Devils need to target a starter.