New York Rangers or New Jersey Devils: Who had the better offseason?
The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils have been the most productive offseason teams in the NHL. The question is: which of the Hudson River rivals will prove their roster remodeling over the other this season?
The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils finished as two of the worst teams in the National Hockey League last season. Both were at the bottom of the barrel if the Metropolitan Division with 78 and 72 points, respectively. Their poor records earned them a trip to the Draft Lottery.
If these teams didn’t make major headlines during the season, they certainly have after it. Both New York Rangers GM, Jeff Gorton, and New Jersey Devils GM, Ray Shero, have kicked up their rosters a notch this summer. Both execs managed to reel in the biggest fishes in both the Entry Draft and Free Agency ponds.
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The Rangers have been in a stated rebuild since February 2018, when management released the infamous letter – preparing their fans for a complete roster overhaul for the next several years. On the other hand, the Devils have been in a strange limbo. They squeaked into the playoffs on the back of Taylor Hall in 2018, then plummeted the following year when Hall was out on injury most of the season.
Both teams had a few star-worthy players on their rosters, to begin with. They just needed to be built around. As fate would have it, NJD and NYR won the top two draft picks in a year that featured arguably two number 1 overall talents. Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko project as game-changing franchise players. The pair of teenagers are set to spice up this rivalry for years to come.
In addition, the franchise level talents are accompanied by some other new faces added to their respective teams. In 2019-20, Rangers vs. Devils has gone from irrelevant to a marquee matchup this season. Players such as P.K. Subban, Nikita Gusev, Jacob Trouba, and Artemi Panarin have been added to the mix which makes their upcoming skirmishes must-see TV.
Both franchises have added key pieces to their top six and blueline to give themselves the boost required to compete in today’s NHL.
October 17 is circled on every NHL calendar as we await to see whose moves proved more substantial during these summer months. With two recharged and star-studded talents ready to bash, somethings gotta give.