In what can mainly be described as a PR coup, the Devils brought franchise legend Martin Brodeur ‘home’, in an entirely new role of course. After his tenure in St. Louis as an assistant GM, he’s returning to the organization as executive VP of business development. If you know what an executive VP of business development does you might be too much of a wonk to be a real hockey fan lol. Somewhat curiously his family’s going to remain in St. Louis for the time being, presumably having to do with not wanting to uproot his kids repeatedly. After being involved in hockey as both a player and exec, he’s taking more of a periphery role now. Perhaps he didn’t like the day-to-day grind of management. Or he wants to eventually be even more involved and become a franchise czar like his mentor Lou Lamoriello, so getting his hands in the off-hockey stuff could help in that vein.
Honestly I don’t even know what else to write about this, of course it’s nice that Marty’s affiliated with the organization again and to be honest I’m glad it’s in a non-hockey role rather than risk his standing with the fanbase as part of management. Ask John MacLean how that worked out, being a coach possibly damaged his standing with Devil fans more than even going to the Rangers. Guys like Joe Sakic and Ron Hextall have had limited success getting into management for their teams to this point. Others like Ron Francis and Joe Nieuwendyk, not even that much. It’s rare you get someone that’s good at both – Steve Yzerman looks to fit that bill though he’s not GM’ing the same team he played for. Perhaps Marty’s return was worth it just for the crack someone made on team president Hugh Weber’s Twitter, musing whether it’d be weird to have someone reporting to you who has a statue outside the building.
It’s continued to be a quiet summer for the Devils otherwise, signing RFA’s like Steven Santini, Stefan Noesen and Blake Coleman to contracts with only Miles Wood left to finish up before camp begins in a couple of weeks. Former Binghamton coach Rick Kowalsky got a deserved promotion to be a part of John Hynes’ NHL staff. Kowalsky and former player Mike Grier were both hired as replacements for departing assistants Geoff Ward and Ryane Clowe. Outside of management, it looks as if the Devils will bring much the same group to Newark they had to end last season sans FA departures like Pat Maroon and John Moore. Pipedream fantasies like Erik Karlsson haven’t materialized (granted Karlsson’s still in limbo in Ottawa so theoretically anything’s still possible).
Until camp opens in a couple weeks I’m back to worrying about fantasy football, real football (I literally typed in Jets for Devils at one point doing this, since the Jets’ recent trade of Teddy Bridgewater had them on the brain), and whether Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom will finish above .500 despite an otherworldly season by all other measures. Hockey will have its day again soon enough, but not when it’s 95 degrees out.