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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Find the right head coach

The right coach will at least take what is still one of the league’s 10 youngest teams closer to being the contenders they were in 2022-23. There are quite a few accomplished coaches who will be looking for work this offseason, and those either with experience leading teams to the Stanley Cup Final or at least a deep playoff run could be one of just a few missing ingredients for the Devils. 

While Fitzgerald will undoubtedly upgrade the lineup this summer, failing to find the right coach likely won’t put this team in Cup contention, regardless of how much talent they have. We already saw what happened in 2023-24 when the Devils solid scoring units couldn’t compensate for poor play in the defensive zone, and you can expect the same result if Fitzgerald botches this. 

Last season under Lindy Ruff, the Devils showed the potential that they could make a deep playoff run. That said, the new coach will be coming in with the expectation not just to return this team to the playoffs but also to become one of those final four teams in the East that will contend for a spot in the Conference Final. 

The new face behind the bench must help the Devils get more proficient in all three zones, and they can’t have issues withstanding the immediate pressure that will come with the job.