Few organizations in professional sports have been forced to endure the gauntlet of controversy, pain and betrayal the New Jersey Devils have over the past 14 months.
First, there was the bitter defection of Zach Parise to the Minnesota Wild in July 2012. Then, barely a year later, the stunning betrayal of Ilya Kovalchuk's retirement from the NHL. Looming over both situations was the team's dire financial straits and the constant rumors and innuendo swirling around the organization.
Monday, with Parise and Kovalchuk becoming distant memories and the team under new ownership, the Devils prepared to open training camp a vastly different team than the one that went to the Stanley Cup Final two seasons ago.
An eclectic mix of prospects, grizzled veterans and “interchangeable parts,” this training camp should reveal much about what type of team will take the ice in Newark this season. Here are five players to watch as training camp begins this week.