What is the State of the New Jersey Devils from top to bottom?

The New Jersey Devils are in need of a turnaround after a brutal 2023-24 season. Tom Fitzgerald has plenty to accomplish between now and opening night. What he chooses to do will determine his and the team's fate.
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The New Jersey Devils find themselves in a precarious situation heading into the 2024-25 season. Questions loom large as far as what changes are in store for a team supposedly on the precipice of contending consistently. With the whole being more than the sum of its parts, according to Aristotle, let's assess the state of the Devils by taking a look at the parts that ultimately make up the whole. 

1. Management

To say management took a step back last year is a bit of a delusive take. During the regular season, and as was the case with the coaching hire, management has held on to their overly patient tendencies, much to fans' chagrin. Yes, management should have moved quicker during the season to help plug in glaring holes within the team. It's very possible this team would not have needed a new coach if the made that move earlier.

Conjecture aside, management found themselves in need of a coach. They got one. Now, they need to find the most important thing for this team: an identity. Management has done its part to build this team from the ground up to become a respectable franchise. We have to give credit where credit is due. Last season, anything bad that could happen did happen. That's given them the benefit of the doubt. But now, it is time to buckle up and get ready for the ride. 

It’s somewhat fair that Tom Fitzgerald is driving around in a luxurious Mercedes with very heated seats. Management knows they need to get to work. This offseason is a make-or-break for them. Another disaster of a season will likely mean change. They know they need a goalie that can win games by himself. They know they need to get it right with the head coach. Many believe they did. They know they cannot gamble on defensemen who may not be who we thought they were. They know they need to replace Michael McLeod. They know they need to get harder on the boards. They know they need an identity. They know improvement from last year is not just an option but a requirement. Management has some leeway, but they need to step up for sure. Their backs are against the wall this off-season. Either success is on the way or a whole new management team.