The bar wasn’t set very high this year following a disappointing 2013 campaign for the Devils. Not many fans believed the team would win a championship with Jaromir Jagr, Michael Ryder and Patrick Elias up front. They might have had a chance if this were 2005.
In Jagr, at least, they’ve gotten more than they asked — or paid — for. The 41-year-old Czech’s salary is only $2 million against the cap and then another $2 million in performance bonuses, which are wise to impose when you’re dealing with an older player who, the year before, seemed to lose steam as the season wore on.
Jagr, though, is leading the team in points, which either says something about the Devils or proves that Jagr is newly invigorated.
Another major free agent acquisition, goaltender Cory Schneider, who said he was “shocked” to be traded to the Devils from Vancouver in the offseason, hasn’t exactly lived up to expectation, nor has he played the lion’s share in net. The Devils are, in fact, the NHL’s oldest team, and Schneider has been forced to share net time with NHL legend, 41-year-old Martin Brodeur. It should disturb the Devils front office that the man they traded the number nine draft pick last season for is now discontent being on a team that isn’t letting him do his job every night.
Sure, the Devils are not the Sabres, who’ve only scored a pathetic 48 goals this season, but the team still ranks near the bottom in the league in goal production. Their 69 put them at #27 in the league.
Still, New Jersey plays a stifling style of defensive hockey and actually owns the league’s third best penalty kill. If only they could get younger on offense…
Here are the Devils remaining home games in 2013. The average price for New Jersey Devils tickets at the Prudential Center this season is $98, which is down 23 percent since opening night.
- 12/14 vs Lightning - Avg $70 | Get-in: $22
- 12/18 vs Senators - Avg $57 | Get-in: $13
- 12/20 vs Ducks - Avg $77 | Get-in: $25
- 12/27 vs Blue Jackets - Avg $96 | Get-in: $28
- 12/31 vs Penguins - Avg $124 | Get-in: $35