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It’s New Jersey Devils day on PHT

Ilya Kovalchuk

CORRECTS TO KINGS WINNING 4-2, NOT 4-1 - New Jersey Devils left wing Ilya Kovalchuk answers a question from the media as the team packs up for the year in Newark, N.J., Wednesday, June 13, 2012. The Devils lost four game to two to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup final NHL hockey series. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)


Welcome to our offseason initiative — 30 teams in 30 days.

From July 16 until Aug. 14, we’ll be dedicating each day to a new team by recapping the offseason and looking ahead to 2012-13.

There will also be a series of posts looking at key stories, player profiles and burning questions regarding each squad.

Today, we move on to the New Jersey Devils.

After missing the playoffs altogether in 2010-11, the Devils fell two wins short of winning their fourth Stanley Cup.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to keep Zach Parise with the team that drafted him; their captain opted for the Minnesota Wild instead.

Still, if last season’s results are any indication, this could be a good team anyway. Both aging goalies Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg join Bryce Salvador, Mark Fayne and even Steve Bernier as returning free agents.

Without a splashy addition to ease the loss of Parise, the Devils are counting on the ascension of Adam Henrique, a staggering array of contract years and Ilya Kovalchuk’s continued brilliance to drive their offense.

Can the Devils defy conventional wisdom once again or will they come back to Earth? Stick with PHT today to study the biggest factors.