The ultimate offseason checklist for the New Jersey Devils

With a less-than-stellar 2023-24 campaign, the New Jersey Devils will look to regroup and bounce back next season, so the summer of 2024 will be pivotal.
Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils
Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils / Adam Hunger/GettyImages
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Few teams in the NHL need a bounce-back 2024-25 campaign more than the New Jersey Devils, who seemingly took more than a few short steps back this season. 

Heading into the 2023 offseason, it was easy to believe the Devils could end up battling the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes for a top spot in the Metropolitan Division. Instead, they entered April just barely hanging onto their playoff hopes, and with Jack Hughes finished for the year, such hopes have extinguished. 

But you can argue those hopes were gone when it became apparent former head coach Lindy Ruff wasn’t the right coach for this ailing hockey team. So, in a way, the season ended when they let him go in favor of Travis Green. 

But Green’s record at the time of this writing, 7-10-1, inspired no hope in Devils fans that he would be the right guy for the 2024-25 season. The lack of success at one of the organization’s most important positions, however, wasn’t the only issue plaguing the Devils this year. 

The pressure will be on Tom Fitzgerald to find the right personnel

While general manager Tom Fitzgerald won’t be going anywhere, it’s ultimately on him to navigate the Devils back in the right direction. Right now, there aren’t many fans in Newark and around the world supporting this team that has a ton of faith in the on-ice product, and that starts with the front office. 

Fitzgerald must not miss on the head coaching search, and it’s paramount that he finds the right one with the potential to lead this team for at least the rest of the decade. He must also look for creative ways to improve the Devils defensively, which has become one of the worst in the league with 273 goals allowed after 79 games. 

The prospects pool also needs constant upgrades because if Fitzgerald improves the factors mentioned above, there will be many ways in which he can use those playing elsewhere in the organization. Let’s dive deep into why finding the perfect coach, adding talent to improve the team defensively, and adding to the pipeline are so important this summer.