Ray Shero and the New Jersey Devils had two objectives this summer.
"We were looking to get back to where we were my first year," said Shero, entering his third season as Devils general manager. "That was a team that really worked and had pushback. And, we wanted to add more skill, which we will have this year."
The Devils overachieved two years ago, but even in defeat were a tough out. The team underperformed last season, and on some losing nights all that was missing was a white-flag wave.
So, off to work management went.
The Devils bought out forwards Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly, acquired 22-year-old defenseman Mirco Mueller (and a fifth-round pick in the 2017 draft) from the San Jose Sharks and forward Marcus Johansson from the Washington Capitals, each for two draft picks, and signed several free agents, the most prominent being former rival center Brian Boyle, 32.