The reality of the Devils, though, is that no one player makes up their team. That’s how its been since the team was founded in 1982, and that’s how it will continue to be.
The Devils thrive on coaching, hard work and discipline, all of which stay within an organization even after the loss of one player.
Parise is a great player, there is no doubt about it, and he was a perfect fit for the Devils. He is an extremely coachable player, a hard worker and has loads of talent, but the Devils will fare just fine without him.
As you can see through the first couple of games, the Devils don’t need a player to replace Parise, they just need to play the same team game they have always played. Besides, the Devils aren’t known for finding players outside of their organization; they build their own superstars.
General manager Lou Lamoriello should never be doubted; he knows how to draft, find the correct role players and make good team management decisions.
Since the 2000 season Lamoriello has made 12 head coaching changes, and he’s finally found the coach he’s been looking for in Peter DeBoer.
DeBoer wasted no time adjusting to the Devils, and in his first year as head coach, he led the team to its fifth Stanley Cup appearance in less than 20 years.
This season the Devils will also have longtime captain Scott Stevens on the bench with DeBoer coaching the team.
His presence will undoubtedly benefit the Devils’ defense. Stevens is arguably the best hitter to ever play the game, and if players like Bryce Salvador and Anton Volchenkov, who are already exceptional hitters, learn from Stevens, they can really cause some damage.
Aside from a marvelous eight-man rotation on defense, the Devils also have all the necessary offensive role players needed to be at the top of the NHL.
Hockey isn’t all about scoring goals, and players that aren’t paid to score goals don’t get enough credit. That’s why the Devils have been called boring, or unexciting to watch over the years, because they are a team of role players, not all goal scorers.
Yes, they have players like Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac, who will score you points, but it’s the second through fourth lines that determine how good a hockey team really is.
The Devils would be nothing without players like David Clarkson or Dainius Zubrus, who can do the dirty work in the corners. Or Steve Bernier, Stephen Gionta and Ryan Carter, who can bang some bodies to swing momentum, or even net some goals. Krys Barch and Cam Janssen will bang bodies too and get into fights to defend teammates.
The necessary formula is there, and even without Zach Parise, the Devils will have no problem being successful once again this season.