Addition of Toffoli and Meier Solidifies Devils High Powered Offensive Threat

Photo by Josh Lavallee/NHLI via Getty Images
Photo by Josh Lavallee/NHLI via Getty Images

TIMO MEIER

Around the All-Star break, some fans started discussing the possibility that the New Jersey Devils would bolster their offense for the playoffs. It’s been a long time for some Devils fans, especially the younger or newer fans who have never experienced the pure feeling of joy when your favorite team wins a Stanley Cup. No one in the NY Metropolitan area has felt that since 2003, when the Devils last raised Lord Stanley’s Cup. Before that, it was the Devils again two times in 2000 and 1995. The year earlier, the Devils lost to the rival Rangers in game 7, and the Rangers won the first Stanley Cup since 1940, only their third sip from the cup in over 100 years in the NHL. Let me get back on track here; the point is that the time has finally come. The season beginning in Oct 2022 was a success, and there was absolutely zero doubt that the Devils would make the playoffs. Of course, they also skated to the most successful season in Devils history. With this boom out of nowhere, the Devils had a chance right out of the gate. Tom Fitzgerald was not going to be sitting back, and it was very clear a move was going to be made to bolster the already high-powered Devils offense. The Devils quick strike play took the league by storm, but as always, something was still missing. All of the high-scoring Devils players were maybe a bit too similar in play. A bit of force was needed, and every Devils fan knew who it was that was the twinkle in Fitzgerald’s eye. Timo Meier played on a team where he was producing most of the offense as the Sharks swam at the bottom of the sea, that is the NHL standings. It became clear that San Jose was going to retool themselves as well, so hopes were high to bring Timo Meier to the Devils, even if only for a year or so. Timo Meier brings to this high-speed Devils attack the size and grit of a common enforcer with the shot that reminds me of players like Cam Neely or even Eric Lindros. This addition, as many are, wasn’t going to guarantee a Stanley Cup, but it was sure going to show the Metropolitan Division that the Devils are back and are not to be taken lightly. When Timo Meier signed an eight year extension with New Jersey, tears of joy were shed. Not only did the Devils add another all-star player to their long-term roster in Meier, but they also agreed to terms with Jesper Bratt the same eight year long haul in Jersey. Would another addition be necessary? Or were the Devils solid with the forward group they had at that moment?

ADJUSTING THE ROSTER/GIVING KIDS A CHANCE

To answer the last question, no. They were not done. Moves needed to be made to fix the horrific goaltending situation in the Devils organization since Martin Brodeur decided to play a few games in St. Louis and destroy every fan’s dream of him being a Devil and only a Devil. The other issue the Devils had, which isn’t so bad, is that they have such depth in both Offense and Defense that there just isn’t a spot for everyone. But let’s talk about the goalie problem. It was almost certain the future in the New Jersey net would be Big Mac, Mackenzie Blackwood. Unfortunately for him and the fans, he is injury-riddled, and his play was not expanding as he grew. The Devils tried twice to bring in a veteran goalie to back Blackwood up and mentor him as he grew into his starting role. Remember earlier when I called the Devils goaltending situation since the exit of Brodeur horrific? Corey Crawford was signed to help Blackwood. In a sad turn of events, Crawford never played a game for the Devils, and the good Devils fans wished and still wish him the best in his life. So, what to do? Try again! In comes Jonathan Bernier, who Devils fans warmed up to pretty quickly. I personally thought that with Bernier in the net, locker room, or on the bench, Blackwood would crawl out of the depths of mediocracy. Bernier had a good start with the Devils, but the curse continued, and Bernier is no longer a part of the Devils organization. With the emergence of the Devilish due to Akira Schmid and Vitek Vanecek, Blackwood became the odd man out. And out he was, ironically, to San Jose. The Devils offense needs balance as much as we love to see four lines roll out and dust opposing teams seemingly every night. The depth is there, which eventually becomes a problem because players who have the talent don’t get the opportunity to display it. As is the case for Yegor Sharangovich. A Devils fan favorite player with a wicked sense of humor and a bright smile always showing. He had shown the Devils fans and organization that he had what it takes. He made some plays that we were in awe at sometimes, and sometimes he went invisible. Sharangovich was eventually tossed around and never settling down with his own line, then being benched many nights. It was best for him to move to a spot where he could excel. At the same time, the Devils would look great with a little more veteran presence amongst the young Devils core. So Yegor Sharangovich was sent packing to Calgary, and in came Tyler Toffoli. Many fans, probably most if not all, wish Yegor a great career and would love to see him become a star in deep Alberta.

TYLER TOFFOLI COMES TO JERSEY

While Yegor Sharangovich started getting ready to leave the Country, the exact same was happening in Calgary, home of the famous Hart wrestling family and, obviously, the Flames. The trade was made, and Tom Fitzgerald did it again. I really don’t believe that this move was expected by anyone. Many, many fans were caught off guard by this one, but they weren’t mad. Yes, it is sad to see a great young, talented player like Sharangovich leave town to grow as a player elsewhere, but the name coming back to the Devils was not only surprising but amazing. Tyler Toffoli, in my personal opinion (as this is mostly an opinion piece) in the eyes of “Fitz,” is the second Timo Meier to perfectly balance the top 6. What I mean by that is both top lines have 2 fast, agile, passing forwards, and now they both have a gritty, hard-to-move sniper to complement them. I don’t need to go into the history of these players, and we know Meier and Toffoli are excellent players and pieces of this new-look Devils team. The New Jersey Devils took over the NHL overnight. But this is not one of those lucky years, and this is the start of something big. Adding pieces like Timo Meier, #28, and Tyler Toffoli, #73, to the top 6 absolutely puts them in the talk as Stanley Cup contenders. Even with the loss of Damon Severson and Ryan Graves on the backend, the Devils run deep these days. All the years we’ve watched them suffer are now coming to fruition. Get ready Devils fans, and the next few years are going to be wild. The Devils just ended a 6-0 preseason blasting of the Flyers the other night, and they are coming full steam ahead. Please check out my content on X/Twitter, and you can find me live streaming there at @DevilsJointYT and also at Devils Joint on YouTube. Let’s Go Devils!

Joseph Stassi

Joseph Stassi is a Writer/Musician from New York. He covers the New Jersey Devils on X @DevilsJointX and YouTube with the same handle.

15 thoughts on “Addition of Toffoli and Meier Solidifies Devils High Powered Offensive Threat

  1. I agree, even with the loss of some D-men, I feel NJ is in good shape for the season. The addition of TT on the wing gives the Devils one of the deepest top 9 rotations in the league.

    1. Absolutely! Thanks for the comment! Comments help me tremendously! Yeah, in my youtube videos i call the Devils top 6 the Deep Six and in the Deeo Six video I came to believe its a Deep 9, and now seeing Mcleod playing the way he is, im sure of it. Thanks for the feedback dude!!!

  2. This article was definitely one of your best. I liked the reference to the Hart family 👍. It is once again getting me really excited about the up and coming season. The franchise is finally putting the blocks in place to return to the playoffs every year. Lets Go Devils !!!!!

    1. thanks Brian! Unfortunately it isn’t getting the traction the last couple did. I was asked to try to pish my articles further for more interaction. Maybe I’m writing too many? I get great feedback, but the numbers speak for themselves. Yet, that leaves me unbothered bc I am knowing I can do this.

  3. I like that you used the word “Shellacking”.
    Excellent word to describe that game! I love that Toffoli video you put up on Youtube and the NJ Devil/Queen video! Good Job Joseph!

  4. really cool perspective, totally different from the norm. Love it! How do you subscribe to your articles? or leave a like on this? Best of luck in the future, from down under!

  5. The devils have probably the most fast faced and powerful offense in the league, even McLeod is starting to live up to his draft number

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