New Jersey Devils are interested in John Gibson, should they pull the trigger?

A new report say the New Jersey Devils have re-engaged in talks for Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson. Will he make the Devils true contenders in the Eastern Conference?

Anaheim Ducks v Edmonton Oilers
Anaheim Ducks v Edmonton Oilers / Lawrence Scott/GettyImages
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The New Jersey Devils had all the expectations in the world heading into this season as the explosively quick team reached the second round of the playoffs last season for the first time since they went to the Stanley Cup in 2012. The Devils also added multiple experienced and talented players in Tyler Toffoli, Tomas Nosek, Colin Miller, and more to help make a further run this year, but, instead, the Devils have started slow. While they start to find their stride, goaltending is the biggest question. 

Last season's historical regular season was fueled by not only Jack Hughes and the offense but by the goaltending as well. After the 2021-22 season, the Devils traded for Vitek Vanecek to help tend the goal. He skyrocketed past the expectations thrown at him. Vanecek finished the regular season with a 33-11-4 record while carrying a 2.45 goals against average and a .911%. save percentage.

Come playoff time, Vanecek’s game disappeared but thankfully rookie goaltender Akira Schmid was next in line. Schmid stepped up when the Devils were down 2-0 in the first round against the New York Rangers. The young'un pulled some strings together and was able to help the Devils advance to the next round before being eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Now, the 2023-24 season rolls around, and both of the goaltenders are struggling. Vanecek has not performed the way he did last year and the same story falls under Schmid as well as the two are both giving up over three goals per game on average. 

The Devils currently sit at 14-11-1 while the team is giving up an average of 3.62 goals per game, putting them second to last in goals against. They are one spot ahead of the San Jose Sharks, who are the joke of the NHL right now. The Sharks are 9-17-3 and give up 3.93 goals per game on average. 

The Devils have an option to shop the league for goaltenders and this is where the fun begins. Many fans and analysts have presented the thought of the Devils acquiring 30-year-old goaltender John Gibson from the Anaheim Ducks. The latest report comes from James Nichols of New Jersey Hockey Now ($$$). Gibson is riding a 5-12-0 record right now - which sounds alarming - but he receives an average of 31.5 shots against him per game. While facing 31.5 shots a night, Gibson maintains a 2.83 goals against average and a .906 save percentage. 

It is worth noting that Gibson has been with the Ducks his entire career, and as the Ducks have been struggling the past few years, Gibson may want a chance at winning a Stanley Cup as his career clock continues to tick. The young, explosive, and highly talented Devils club should be more than accepting of Gibson, as he could be the missing piece to the puzzle.

Next. Luke Hughes' Edge For Calder Trophy. Luke Hughes' Edge For Calder Trophy. dark