New Devils by the Numbers

The Devils today announced the numbers their new acquisitions will be wearing for the upcoming 2020-21 season.

Ryan Murray will be the 34th player in team history to wear the number 22. Patrik Elias actually wore that number when he debuted in 1997 before switching to his more familiar number 26, which has since been retired by the club. Jordin Tootoo wore the number notably in 2016 while Kyle Quincey was the last to do so in 2017.

Andreas Johnsson will become the 21st Devil to wear the number 11, the first since Brian Boyle did so in 2018-19.

Free agent signing, goaltender Corey Crawford will be the second Devils player in history to don the number 50 on his back. The other was Evan Cormier, also a goalie, who did so last season briefly.

Speaking of Crawford, there was a fantastic article on the Devils app today written by Amanda Stein that notated Crawford idolizing none other than Martin Brodeur while growing up.

Crawford, Stein said, grew up in Chateauguay, Quebec, which is “just a short drive from Saint-Leonard where Martin Brodeur was raised.”

Crawford went on to say on the Speak of the Devils Podcast that the team puts out that he “had posters of” Marty on his wall growing up. He said that he “started idolizing Marty, you know, he’s unbelievable, just how good he was with the different style of play. And, you know, he was fun to watch. And I had, I still have, that ‘Heaven’, VHS, I think back home, from when they won [in 1995].”

He is, of course, referring to the 1995 Stanley Cup video put out by the NHL for the Devils. On a personal note, I wore that sucker out from the sheer amount of viewings and even had a friend who would religiously watch it each and every day for about a year to keep the memory fresh in his mind.

But back to Crawford. When the Devils were courting him as a free agent, they had a secret weapon: Martin Brodeur.

Marty spoke on the phone with Crawford, recounted Stein, trying to convince him to sign.

Corey told Matt Loughlin and Stein on the Speak of the Devils Podcast: “That was a big surprise. Obviously, I’m from Montreal, Marty was a pretty big idol of mine growing up, you know, I watched him and [New Jersey] when they were winning Cups. So, to talk to him on the phone was pretty cool. It’s pretty special. And, you know, it definitely, definitely persuaded me to think about Jersey and what they can offer.”

And what Crawford can offer the Devils is being a part of a top goaltending tandem with Mackenzie Blackwood. He will also make a great mentor for the young Blackwood. Crawford was brought here to not only take some pressure off of Blackwood and be a good 1A/1B pair, but to also be a locker room leader. He has been there; he has won Cups with Chicago. He is a proven winner and can bring a lot to the Devils via his leadership.

Corey Crawford is here to help the Devils get back to those Broderian days, to get the Devils back to the top.

Brodeur Not Interested in Devils’ GM Job

The NHL put out an article on their official app stating that Martin Brodeur is not interested in taking the Devils’ General Manager position “right now, even if the job were available.”

The report comes from The Hockey News, specifically Matt Larkin, who spoke to Brodeur directly.

He told the publication that he is “happy with his job as executive vice president of hockey operations and senior advisor with the Devils.”

Marty told THN’s Larkin: “I know what it takes to be a GM. I’ve been around Doug Armstrong (with the St. Louis Blues) for a long time and Lou Lamoriello (with the Devils). I’m just not ready for the commitment, regardless of whether it would be offered to me.”

The article notes that Brodeur, the Devils’ legendary goaltender who won three Stanley Cups as a player and lead the Devils to five Stanley Cup Finals, “moved from a Devils business position to hockey operations after Ray Shero was fired as GM on Jan. 12 and replaced by Tom Fitzgerald.”

Fitzgerald is still in the position of GM, albeit as an interim. It was mentioned in the article that he has been interviewing coaches, among them former Islanders, Hurricanes, Flyers and Predators coach Peter Laviolette (who has been linked to the Devils in various outlets) and Alain Nasreddine, the interim who took over from John Hynes on December 3. The NHL news piece said that Brodeur and Fitzgerald have been working closely in preparation for the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery, where the Devils have a 7.5 percent chance to gain the first overall pick.

When Marty retired after the 2014-15 season (he played the final seven games of his career as a Blue), he stayed in St. Louis “as a special adviser to Armstrong.” He currently lives in St. Louis and has a ten-year-old son there, which, the article notes is why “he said he’s not ready to take on the rigors of being an NHL general manager.”

Brodeur told THN’s Larkin: “the reason why I went back to New Jersey is because I was able to control my time, because I’m not moving from St. Louis yet, and I have a 10-year-old at home who does all the activities in the world. I’m not saying that one day I won’t say, ‘You know what? This is the time for me to do it, maybe.’ But right now, I value my time off too much to get myself involved.”