Ray Shero Hired as General Manager by the New Jersey Devils


In a surprising turn of events, the New Jersey Devils announced today that they have hired former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero.  Lou Lamoriello announced that he will move into the role of President and Ray Shero will handle all General Manager duties.

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Ray Shero joined the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2006 in relief of former GM Craig Patrick.  He was with the team until 2014 when he was released after five consecutive disappointing playoff eliminations for the Pens.  Along with Shero, Head Coach Dan Bylsma was also fired shortly after.  Shero was one of the top names available for GM openings this summer, but there was no indication that Lou Lamoriello would be relinquishing his duties in that role.  This announcement caught the hockey world a bit off guard.

Shero won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009, and his team’s were consistently favorites to compete for Lord Stanley year-in and year-out.  He was also very aggressive in the trade market and didn’t hesitate to add pieces with blockbuster deals.  However, he was known to mortgage the future of the franchise in many of those deals, as he traded away a lot of draft picks for veteran rentals that would move on in the offseason which left nothing to show for those forfeited picks.

The most surprising part of this transaction for me is that the Pittsburgh Penguins did not pursue the third-round draft pick that they are entitled to due to Shero still being under contract with them.  Given the organization’s lack of young forward depth, and the fact that Shero and Dan Bylsma are both likely to be hired this summer, you would expect that Jim Rutherford and staff would welcome those draft picks with open arms.  That’s two potential third-round picks they could have added for this year’s NHL Entry Draft, given that Bylsma is hired before that date.

It will be very interesting to see how Shero handles a roster with very little offensive punch and a shortage of upcoming talent within their system.  He is known for adding a lot of veteran players, but that is exactly opposite of what New Jersey needs at the moment.

I wouldn’t count out Ray Shero and the New Jersey Devils.  It will be a project, and likely won’t happen in one year, but I’d imagine Ray Shero has learned a lot since his firing.  I wouldn’t expect him to make the same mistakes again.  Is it possible that he’ll hire a high-tempo coach like he did in Pittsburgh with Dan Bylsma?  Could this be the beginning of the end for the trap defense in New Jersey?

Next: Is It Time For A Change Of Scenery For Beau Bennet?

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