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The Devils are old, and that’s a problem no coach can fix

Minnesota Wild v New Jersey Devils

against the at the Prudential Center on March 20, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey.

Jim McIsaac

A quick, easy way to see if a team is getting a bit long in the tooth is to visit and compare the amount of green to red.

Here’s how the New Jersey Devils look at forward:


So yeah, lots of green there. Of the 15 forwards listed, 14 of them have reached the stage in their careers where they’re pending unrestricted free agents. Only Jacob Josefson is a pending restricted free agent, shown in red.

The Devils’ defense features a bit more red...


...and rookie Damon Severson is averaging an impressive 23:01 of ice time this season.

But in a young man’s league like the NHL, where speed kills and teams need to be constantly refreshing their rosters with energetic legs, the Devils’ average age, around 31, raises a huge red flag.

Consider: Of the NHL’s 30 oldest skaters, five of them are Devils.

Three Devils -- Jaromir Jagr, Bryce Salvador and Patrik Elias -- are in the top five.


What’s more, the Devils’ prospects aren’t particularly well-regarded, with Hockey’s Future ranking them 27th out of 30.

Part of the reason for that is, since 1997, New Jersey has only had one top-10 draft pick, and that was used on defenseman Adam Larsson (fourth overall in 2011). Fair to say, the jury’s still out on him.

Tomorrow, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello, one of the most successful executives in NHL history, is expected to announce a replacement for fired head coach Peter DeBoer.

Will he say anything about the roster he’s put together?

Related: Devils sign Gomez, actually manage to get older