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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Improve defensively and in the crease

Just as the wrong coaching hire will curtail the Devils ability to maximize their chances of making a serious playoff run, leaving the blue line and goaltending as is also won’t help this team. New Jersey may have traded for a pair of stopgap goaltenders, but bringing back Kaapo Kahkonen and Jake Allen and expecting one of them to factor in as a 1A would be risky - spoiler alert, Allen is most likely coming back, so Kahkonen needs to walk in free agency. 

Likewise, Nico Daws and Akira Schmid - assuming they return to the organization this summer - also haven’t been the answers yet. Daws played just slightly better than the now-departed Vitek Vanecek, and you can say the same for Schmid. 

Tom Fitzgerald must do everything he can to add a franchise-caliber goaltender this summer. One who would immediately put the Devils back into the playoff conversation when the preseason ultimately rolls around. But he must also look for either someone on the blue line or, if he thought it was more feasible, rolling with another defensive-oriented forward. 

With a good deal of cap space entering the offseason, Fitzgerald could realistically add one goaltender, one defensive forward, and another blueliner. Addressing all three positions should give fans more peace of mind as the 2024-25 season nears, but as with the new coach, Fitzgerald must find talent who would fit into the system immediately.