Who do you think are the 15 most important individuals in the New Jersey Devils franchise? Keep in mind here, these are the people who had the biggest impact on the Devils franchise, not the biggest professional careers.
So, for example, a player like Doug Gilmour, who was a league superstar, or Viacheslav Fetisov, who was an international superstar, will not have a place on this list.
So, let's jump right into the top 15 people that have impacted the Devils franchise since 1982...
Chico Resch's inclusion here is a bit of a unique situation because of his long-time history with the franchise. Chico started out on the ice as an original New Jersey Devil, coming over from the days in Colorado.
(NOTE: Prior to 1982, the Devils franchise was located in Colorado as the original Colorado Rockies. Prior to that, they were the Kansas City Scouts.)
Chico was the first Devils All-Star in 1982, and survived the year behind an awful team, which in itself is quite an achievement.
Beyond his four years of goaltending for the Devils, Chico went on to become the color analyst for the team in 1996, even picking up his first NY Emmy in 2009 for his work on MSG Plus.
Chico also has picked up a bit of a cult following with his famous "Chico Eats" segments in between the second and third periods on select Devils broadcasts. It has gotten to the point where "Chico Eats" souvenirs are offered at the Prudential Center.
Even though he can be a bit of a homer at times, his wonderful and engaging personality have certainly carried Glenn "Chico" Resch to have a monumental impact on the Devils franchise as a whole.
Bobby Holik was one of the toughest players in the NHL on a game to game basis during his first stint as a New Jersey Devil, covering the years 1992-2002.
He never was considered the primary scorer on those teams, but when you look at the all-time leaders in Devils history, Holik easily is in the top 10 in most of the major categories.
Holik ranked fourth in goals with 202, ninth in assists with 270, and fifth in points with 472, eighth in power play goals with 44, fourth in plus/minus at +134, seventh in penalty minutes with 863, and third in shots taken at 2,046.
Holik may not have been the most talented player in the league, but he made up for that with his toughness. In addition to his toughness Holik was an excellent face-off player. He was hard working and came to play on a nightly basis.
While enjoying his work ethic and admirable ice play, fans looked forward to his interviews. Holik was talkative and would never shy away from saying what was on his mind, whether it be appropriate or not.
Holik easily is one of the top Devils. It could be argued he should be higher on this list, but he comes in at No. 14 overall despite the hiccups in his return to the team for the 2008-09 season for what would turn out to be his final NHL season.
"Captain Kirk" was considered by many to the be the first homegrown Devils superstar, after he was selected second overall in the 1984 draft behind the great Mario Lemieux.
Muller was named captain of the Devils from 1987 to 1991, and was part of the first group of Devils to bridge the gap from the "Mickey Mouse" days to the successful organization they have become.
Muller had three 30-goal seasons and four All-Star appearances for the Devils, totaling 185 goals and 335 assists in 556 games over seven seasons. He also ranks in the top 10 in many categories on the Devils All-Time list, including goals (fourth), assists (fifth) and points (third).
Muller also centered one of the most successful forward lines in team history, with Pat Verbeek and Aaron Broten. He also holds the record for most points in a regular season game by a Devil with six, and is tied for second on the list of most points in a single season by a Devil with 94.
Muller would leave the franchise on bad terms, when an ugly contract holdout led to his trade to the Montreal Canadiens on Sept. 20, 1991.
Roland Melanson accompanied Muller to the Canadians for Stephane Richer and Tom Chorske.
Devils fans to this day still have a soft place in their hearts for Muller. He is included in the pictures of famous Devils in the concourse at the Prudential Center.
Back in 1993, the Devils were looking to replace Herb Brooks as head coach. GM Lou Lamoriello was not looking for a recycled candidate, and looked outside the box, to the Montreal Candiens, bringing in Jacques Lemaire, who hadn't coached since the 1984-85 season.
When he was brought in, along with assistant coach Larry Robinson, Lemaire gave the Devils exactly what they needed. First and foremost, Lemaire brought in a winning attitude, changing the culture around the team.
He also brought in the famed neutral zone trap, which doesn't always get the words of praise, but it has been the backbone of many winning systems for many decades in the National Hockey League.
In one of the best played playoff series in a long time, the Devils went toe-to-toe with the eventual Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers in the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals.
That is a series that all pure hockey fans look back on with fondness, even if us Devils fans shiver at the results. It was that first year that helped springboard the Devils to the success they have had since, including the following season, where they took the 1995 Stanley Cup Championship, the first in franchise history.
In five seasons as Devils coach, Lemaire had a record of 199-122-57, an incredible .601 winning percentage, and the team won seven of the ten playoff series.
The 1995-96 season was considered a "lost season" when the team missed the playoffs (the only time the franchise has missed it since 1988), but the Stanley Cup that preceded it almost takes away the pain of that lost season.
Lemaire's ability to work with both younger and older players is probably the biggest reason GM Lou Lamoriello decided to give him a second chance with the Devil's.
It will certainly be interesting to see how things play out with a second tenure for Lemaire.
Every good leader typically needs a good second in command he or she can turn to. Tony Soprano had Silvio Dante, and Lou Lamoriello has David Conte.
Conte has been the Devil's head scout for the past 16 years, and was the assistant for eight years prior to that. Conte vigorously scouts and watches countless games to find the hidden talent the Devils have become famous for.
Finding undrafted (at least by the Devils) free agent players like Brian Rafalski, John Madden, Andy Greene, David Clarkson and Johnny Oduya has become a specialty for the Devils, and that effort has been a project of none other then David Conte.
Conte has been approached on several occasions about becoming a general manager, but has always turned down the opportunity, preferring to remain with the Devils.
It's hard to imagine how life would have been for the Devils, and their history, had it not been for the super scouting of David Conte, and for that Conte, nets the eleventh spot on our list and probably deserves to be higher.
Claude Lemieux is a special player, who has the ability to rise to the occasion when it was needed most. Winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1995 says it all, when he scored 13 goals to help lead the way for the Devils to take their first Stanley Cup title.
Lemieux wasn't necessarily the most liked player across the league (see Kris Draper), but was beloved by most of his teammates for his propensity to score the big goal. As a Devil, he cemented his reputation as a pest but one that could also score the timely goal when it was needed.
Overall, "Pepe" ranks 11th in Devils history with 142 goals, 6th in power play goals with 49, and 9th in shots with 1,397. But, the better display for Claude's value is when you look at the playoff numbers, where Claude still ranks second in playoff goals with 34, and is tied for first with six game winning goals.
He also ranks third in playoff penalty minutes with 171.
Lemieux had two tenures with the Devils, and both ironically ended with Stanley Cups. After the 1995 season, Lemieux got into a contract dispute with GM Lou Lamoriello, which led to his being dealt to Colorado, and brought Steve Thomas to the Devils.
During the 1999-2000 season, Lamoriello went on to re-acquire Lemieux from the Colorado Avalanche in return for Brian Rolston.
In a bit of a secondary role as compared to his 1995 status, Lemieux still added 4 goals and 6 assists in 23 playoff games to help the Devils take their second Stanley Cup.
He would then depart from the Devils at season's end, joining the Phoenix Coyotes as a free agent.
In 1982, the Devils started with Mike "Doc" Emrick behind the mic, as the Devils lead play-by-play announcer. Through the 1986-87 season, Emrick was there with his unique style of calling games, through some very dark days for the franchise.
Emrick left the Devils in 1987, but then returned in 1993, and has been with the Devils since.
Last year, Doc Emrick was given the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award and received membership in the Hockey Hall of Fame. He also won the Lester Patrick Award previously in 2004.
Quite simply, hockey on television is that much more enjoyable when Emrick is broadcasting the game. He has one of the most recognizable voices in hockey, probably due to the number of national games he has broadcast on behalf of NBC, ESPN, CBS, ABC, Versus and other regional networks.
Emrick is a fountain of Devils knowledge, and can reel off the memories of an Uli Heimer hat trick right into a recap of a David Clarkson goal from last season. It seems there is little that Emrick can't remember, although he does go out of his way to take shots at his own math skills from time to time, and he has a very soft spot for his Pittsburgh Pirates baseball fandom.
It seems there is no better man to represent the New Jersey Devils franchise on the air then Mike Emrick, who comes across as one of the most genuine and sincere people you could ever want to encounter.
While I haven't had the honor to meet him face to face, his demeanor on camera gives you a connection like you are always hanging out with an old friend. It is not meant as disrespect to Steve Cangelosi, but the games that are without Emrick always seem to have something missing.
Obviously, the broadcast networks tend to agree, because Emrick has done work for Fox, NBC, Versus and SportsChannel as the official voice on a national level for the NHL. He also has participated in the Winter Olympic coverage for CBS and NBC, as well as other international competitions.
Simply put, Mike Emrick is about as good as it gets in the broadcasting business, and he is an excellent person to represent the Devils organization, and a legitimate Hall of Famer. It was an honor to have attended the ceremony held for him at the Prudential Center.
There has probably not been any Devil to put on their uniform with as much talent as Scott Niedermayer. If there has been, I've yet to see him play. Niedermayer was so talented, it often seemed as if things came too easily to him. He was THAT good.
His numbers only tell part of the story of what he brought to the table.
He ranks second on the all-time Devils list in assists with 364, fourth in points with 476, third in plus/minus at +172, and second in overtime game-winning goals with 8.
His ability to cover mistakes allowed his defensive partner to take more risks because he knew Niedermayer would smother any opportunity that may have come from those mistakes.
Niedermayer's legendary goal in Game Two of the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals is an end-to-end rush that will live in Devils' fans memories forever.
His 146 playoff games played ranks third in team history, along with 47 assists (second) and his 64 points is fourth. There is not a lot of success that took place in the mid-to-late 90's and early 2000's that didn't involve Niedermayer as a central piece to it.
Simply put, I think it's hard to dispute that Niedermayer was the best skater in the history of the team. His stride was seemingly effortless, and at the same time, it almost seemed like he never tired.
The team has yet to fully recover from his departure after the lockout, after departing to join his brother with the Anaheim Ducks.
While it's hard to knock him for wanting to play with his brother, there still remains fans that don't appreciate the greatness Niedermayer brought to the team. To this day, he remains the greatest defensive talent I have ever witnessed, and that speaks volumes, especially when you remember he played alongside Scott Stevens and many others.
Putting him at No. 8 on this list probably doesn't do Niedermayer justice, but it's the best we can do for now. Had he stayed with the Devils, he'd easily be in the top five, and would threaten the top spots.
What Devils fan will ever forget the night of Apr. 3, 1988? Chicago Stadium, Win the game, or no playoffs. It was that simple.
The game would go into overtime, where John MacLean would score on the rebound off a Joe Cirella shot past Blackhawks goaltender Darren Pang, putting the Devils into the playoffs for the first time in their short history.
MacLean was the Devils first round choice in 1983 (sixth overall) and made his debut soon thereafter, helping to form a nucleus with guys like Kirk Muller, Aaron Broten, Pat Verbeek and Bruce Driver that would comprise the first success in the history of the team.
MacLean played in 934 games for the Devils (third all-time in team history), scoring 347 goals (first all-time) and adding 354 helpers (third all-time) for 701 points (second all-time).
He also ranks third in penalty minutes (1,168), first in power play goals (92), tied for fourth in short handed goals (10), first in shots on goal (2,715) and second in game winning goals (55).
He also had impressive playoff numbers, scoring 35 goals and adding 48 assist in 103 Devils playoff games.
MacLean was an integral part of the 1995 Stanley Cup Championship team, but would later go on to leave the team not on the best of terms, being dealt to San Jose on Dec. 7, 1997 with Ken Sutton for Doug Bodger and Dody Wood.
After the 1997-98 season, MacLean would go on to sign with the hated rival New York Rangers, but has gotten back in the good graces of most Devils fans by serving as assistant coach for the team from 2002-2009.
He now is the head coach for the Devils' AHL affiliate in Lowell, and is rumored to be someone being groomed to potentially be the next head coach of the New Jersey Devils, but that obviously remains to be seen.
John MacLean has and continues to have a huge impact on the franchise, and many people think his jersey number 15 should be lifted to the rafters. I'm not sure I agree, but at a minimum, No. 7 is a good fit for him on this list.
"Mr. Devil," Ken Daneyko played 1283 games for the Devils, scoring just 36 goals and adding 142 assists. He did have 2516 penalty minutes, and is the leader in team history for games played and penalty minutes.
However, it really isn't numbers that even begin to do justice for everything that Ken Daneyko brought to the Devils.
No one came with more heart, loyalty and toughness then Ken Daneyko. His toothless grin is a vision that most Devils fans will not soon forget. He played in the first 165 playoff games in team history, and fought countless battles in the trenches.
Along with Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer, they formed the backbone of the defense that led the Devils to three championships.
Daneyko also was beloved by the fans as he always showed his human side, as he fought through personal demons and alcohol addiction, and always wore his emotions on his sleeve. Daneyko was always there to protect or stand up for one of his teammates.
He was extremely close with owner John McMullen, who was one of the people that stood behind Daneyko when he needed it most.
Daneyko checked into rehab to fight alcoholism and missed a huge chunk of the 1997-98 season as he recovered. He would go on to win the Bill Masterston Trophy in 2000 for perseverance and dedication to hockey.
A night Ken Daneyko will never forget is June 9, 2003, when Head Coach Pat Burns inserted Dano into the lineup after sitting out the first six games of the Stanley Cup Finals. Daneyko was so emotional by the end of the game he was on the verge of tears.
You could not have drawn up a more perfect scenario for Daneyko to end his NHL career. It was a moment Devil fans won't soon forget. For his career, Daneyko played 1283 games over his 20 seasons, and scored just 36 goals, added 142 assists, chipped in 2516 penalty minutes and was a +80 overall.
Normally, I don't find plus/minus to be all that meaningful a stat, but when you factor in his defensive play, I think it does have some meaning in Daneyko's case. Simply put, he was able to keep the puck out of his own net on a consistent basis significantly more then his fellow players on the ice were able to put the puck in the opposing net.
Ken Daneyko's No. 3 will be in the rafters of the Prudential Center forever, and Dano will be in the hearts of all the Devil fans who were fortunate enough to watch his career and for that, he earns the No. 6 spot on our list.
Patrik Elias has been a bit of an enigma to some in his tenure as a New Jersey Devil.
While he has been underappreciated by many (something I referred to in a previous article I wrote about Patrik at: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/84344-patrik-elias-the-most-underappreciated-new-jersey-devil/poll_results#poll), anyone in the know never overlooks the contributions Elias has made to this team, and the numbers only help to back up that claim as well.
Patrik Elias has the knack for making a big play when it is needed most. In the regular season, no skater has scored more then Elias' 15 overtime winning goals.
Some examples of this in the postseason are in Game Seven of the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals, when Elias silenced the hostile Philadelphia crowd with his second goal of the game, with under a minute left, giving the Devils a 2-1 victory.
Later that postseason, he would set up teammate Jason Arnott for the Stanley Cup winning goal in the second overtime of Game Six of the Finals.
Elias became the all-time leading scorer in Devils history this past Mar. 17, when he moved ahead of John MacLean. With his fifth goal this upcoming year, he will become just the second Devils player to score 300 goals in their Devils career. He currently is the only player in team history to post 400 asissts, and the second to post 700 points (John MacLean is the other).
Its in the playoffs where Elias tends to turn it up another notch, as he is the all-time leader for the Devils in goals, assists, points, power play goals and tied in game winning goals. He is fourth on the team in games played amongst skaters in the NHL playoffs.
Elias tends to be overlooked by many, but at the same time, as Elias seems to go, the team seems to follow. When Elias is going well, the team tends to do well and when he struggles the team usually does the same.
For the many many contributions Elias has and will continue to bring to this team, as well as the two Stanley Cup titles, Elias earns the No. 5 spot on our list.
Back in 1982, the Colorado Rockies hockey club was purchased by Dr John McMullen, who had visions of bringing the Rockies to New Jersey.
He owned the team through its 2000 Stanley Cup Championship, and helped to bring in the likes of GM/President/CEO Lou Lamoriello to help bring the Devils from a laughingstock franchise into of one of the most successful and respected franchises in the league.
McMullen was born in Jersey City in 1918, and has always had strong ties to the New Jersey area.
In fact, the biggest reason he ended up selling the team was his vision of an arena in Hoboken (above the train station, similar to Madison Square Garden being above NY Penn Station) never got the green light, and McMullen gave in to the Yankee-Nets investment, which had visions of rebuilding Newark (which eventually took place under the current ownership of James Vanderbeek.)
John McMullen is the man that brought the franchise to New Jersey and without his patience and hard work there would be no team in New Jersey. For that, and everything else he brought to the Devils and their fans as owner, he sits at No. 4 on our list.
Not all leaders are vocal. Some are the silent type that lead by example. That defines Scott Stevens. He simply led the charge for the Devils and showed them the way.
His arrival to the franchise helped mold the team into winners. It would be a legitimate question to wonder if the team would have won the Stanley Cup had it not been for his arrival.
Stevens arrived in New Jersey as a result of some awkward circumstances. When the Devils lost Brendan Shanahan to free agency back in 1991 to the St. Louis Blues, GM Lou Lamoriello was able to go to arbitration (those were the rules back then) to determine the appropriate compensation.
While the Blues offered Curtis Joseph and Rod Brind a'mour, Lamoriello argued that Stevens was the fair compensation and won his argument in the eyes of the arbitrator.
At first, Stevens was displeased to be given away to New Jersey. He was just coming off his first season with the Blues after signing a free agent deal of his own. In time, Stevens not only enjoyed the rest of his playing career in New Jersey, but has now made his full-time home here.
Stevens' career as a Devil went through a couple of changes. When he first arrived, Stevens played a very balanced game, contributing greatly on both sides of the ice.
Eventually, Stevens, at the request of Head Coach Jacques Lemaire, took on a more defensive role, becoming the best defenseman in the league. He was absolutely robbed of the Norris Trophy award in the 1993-94 season, when he lost by one vote to Ray Bourque.
That season, Stevens posted 18 goals, 60 assists and an amazing plus 53 plus/minus rating. It seemed anything the Devils wanted or needed him to do that season, he was able to do, even playing up front on the power play at times.
Stevens was a warrior throughout his career. He was known for his crunching bodychecks, especially in the playoffs, when they could change the momentum of an entire playoff series.
Some of his biggest hits include Vychaeslav Kozlov (1995 Stanley Cup Finals), Eric Lindros (2000 Eastern Conference Finals), Shane Willis and Ron Francis (2001 Eastern Conference Quaterfinals) and Paul Kariya (2003 Stanley Cup Finals).
Stevens often showed his toughness, but nothing may be more of an example of this then when he basically seemed to play the 2003 playoffs while suffering the symptoms of a concussion.
Stevens had been hit in the ear with a shot from close range off the stick of Tampa Bay's Pavel Kubina during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and there was doubt about his availability for the remainder of the playoffs.
Not in Scott's mind, as he didn't miss a game, and in fact scored a goal during Game Four of that series.
Unfortunately, in what may have been a result of his concussion from the Kubina shot, Stevens suffered from post-concussion syndrome the following season, and was limited to 38 games in his final season.
Between the head injuries and the lockout that canceled the 2004-05 season, Stevens retired from his playing career.
Stevens was the first person to have his number retired, when the Devils raised No. 4 to the rafters on Feb. 3, 2006. He currently is a special assignment coach for the Devils and specialized in working with the defensemen in Lowell, Trenton and New Jersey.
There are rumors that he is being groomed to eventually become head coach.
Scott Stevens was a special player who truly was one of a kind. He played the game the way you would want to teach your son. This quote sums it all up for me:
"What kind of respect do I get? Just because I'm a physical player, it's O.K. to come at me and do what you want? Hey, it's a hockey game. It's not figure skating. You know what? I can take a hit and I can give a hit. I don't care who it is.
No one gets a free ride out there. I don't get a free ride, and no one gets a free ride from me." Stevens played the game hard, but did it fairly, he was rarely penalized for dirty plays in his career, only having four elbowing penalties in his entire 22-year career.
It's hard to have Stevens at No. 3, as I'm sure there are many people who would argue he should be higher. I think the No. 3 spot is the right place for him to be.
Where do you begin with Martin Brodeur? The NHL's all-time winning goaltender, Brodeur has been a centerpiece for this franchise from his arrival in 1992. The 20th overall pick in the 1990 draft, Brodeur has not been your typical goaltender.
While he idolized the great Patrick Roy as a kid, Brodeur did not follow in the butterfly style of Roy. Brodeur would sort of morph from some of the best goaltenders of his time, and sort of plays a hybrid style.
He also revolutionized the goaltender position to the point the NHL had to change the rules of the sport.
Because Brodeur was so efficient with his stickhandling, the NHL Board of Governors changed the rules to create a trapezoid behind the net, making it more difficult for players like Brodeur to utilize their stickhandling talents, which allowed Brodeur to score a goal in both a regular season and postseason game.
As far as his on ice performance, Brodeur has played 999 games in net as a Devil, and has more wins (557) then any goaltender in the history of the league. To try and put that in perspective a little bit, Brodeur has 128 wins more then the rest of the goalies who have played for the Devils combined (429).
He is also second all-time in shutouts with 101, just two behind Terry Sawchuk. He's won the Calder Trophy in 1993-94 as Rookie of the Year, as well as the Vezina Trophy for best goaltender four times, and shared or won outright the Jennings Trophy for least goals allowed four times.
Simply put, the only piece of hardware Brodeur has been denied is the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, and you can debate he was robbed of that in 2003, when it can certainly be debated he was more deserving then Jean-Sebastien Gigeure of the runner-up Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
There are many out there that think Brodeur hasn't been the same since the retirement of Scott Stevens and the departure of Scott Niedermayer. While that is true, remember the game has become a little more offensive since the lockout, and I think that has as much to do with it as anything.
At age 37, it would be understandable for Brodeur to show a little bit of decline, but he still remains one of the top goalies in the National Hockey League.
Brodeur played one of his best games I have ever seen this past playoff, when he just simply denied the Hurricanes the entire night, in a 1-0 victory where he posted 44 saves. For anyone who has ever tried to criticize Brodeur for not stealing a playoff game, someone should send them the tape of that game.
Brodeur is in the argument for the best goaltenders of all-time. His resume speaks for itself, and he is an easy choice for the No. 2 spot on this list.
Did anyone really have any doubt about who would be atop this list? Should we start out with the fact that the Devils would likely no longer be in New Jersey if it wasn't for Lou Lamoriello?
Who knew what kind of impact the former math teacher from Johnston (RI) High School would have on this franchise?
Sure, he was a very successful head hockey coach and athletic director at Providence College, where his success in all aspects was quite remarkable, including the hiring of head coach Rick Pitino for the basketball program, and helping to launch the Big East conference, as well as Hockey East, a conference that awards the Lamoriello trophy each year to its winner.
However, in April 1987, John McMullen, who at the time was the owner of the Devils, brought in Lamoriello to be the president of the hockey team. Lou named himself general manager, which at the time, surprised many pundits around the league, since he had no NHL experience at all, whether as a player, coach or administrator.
Well, as they say, the rest is history, as Lamoriello has helped to pilot one of the most successful franchises in professional sports, and did it practically starting from nothing. When he took over, the Devils had not done as much as simply making the postseason.
Back then, only five of the 21 teams missed the playoffs, and yet, in their first five seasons, the Devils had yet to even qualify once. Since the 1987-88 season, the Devils have made the playoffs in 19 of the last 21 seasons, including three Stanley Cup Championships, four Conference Championships and six appearances in the conference finals.
Outside of the Detroit Red Wings and possibly the Pittsburgh Penguins, there is no NHL franchise that can match that resume.
It is impossible to only use statistics to express the impact of Lou Lamoriello on the Devils franchise, because it wouldn't even begin to do justice for everything he has done.
In the mid 1980's, the Devils were more known for being a "Mickey Mouse organization" as Wayne Gretzky labled them, and they have become the success they are today.
While he certainly has made his share of mistakes along the way, including alienating certain players for disrupting the team concept installed upon his arrival (i.e. contract holdouts, malcontents, etc), Lamoriello has completely changed the entire perception and culture of the franchise.
After the 1995 Stanley Cup championship, there were rumors that the Devils were headed to Nashville, Tennessee to get a better financial package with a new arena. Lamoriello played a big role in working out a new deal with the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority to give the Devils an increase in revenues that allowed the team to stay in New Jersey.
With that, and all that he has done to help bring the likes of Scott Stevens, Martin Brodeur, Zach Parise, Scott Niedermayer, Claude Lemieux (twice), Brian Rafalski, Bobby Holik, Patrik Elias, Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta, Stephane Richer, amongst many others I have left out, it is apparent to anyone that has followed this franchise, that Lou Lamoriello stands easily a top this list and is easily the biggest person to impact the New Jersey Devils franchise.
Lamoriello's contributions do not end with the Devils alone, as Lamoriello has played a big role for the NHL in its collective bargaining with the union, and has recently been elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Simply put, the biggest person in New Jersey Devils history is clearly Lou Lamoriello. Of the 14 other people on this list of 15, Lamoriello was responsible for bringing in nine of them.
Here are some of the names that did not make the list but still deserved mention of some kind. (in alphabetical order):
Zach Parise (shouldn't take much longer for him to crack the Top 15 for sure)