With the NHL undergoing another lockout, it seems like an opportune time to discuss the previous NHL lockout that wiped out a whole season in 2004-05.
For the purposes of this discussion, we will take a look at the top ten New Jersey Devils between the two lockouts. So, without any further adieu, here are the top ten New Jersey Devils since the NHL’s last lockout.
(Honorable Mentions: David Clarkson, RW; John Madden, C; Colin White, D)
10. Dainius Zubrus, C/LW/RW
Zubrus may come as a shock to any non-Devils’ fans but the big forward has been a solid two-way player for the Devils since signing with them. He has taken over Sergei Brylin’s old role in contributing at every forward position when needed.
9. Paul Martin, D
Martin had some very nice regular seasons for the Devils but was not nearly as good for the club in the postseason.
8. Brian Rafalski, D
Rafalski only played two seasons for the Devils after the 2004-05 lockout but continued to put up strong offensive numbers like he did before the lockout.
7. Travis Zajac, C
Zajac, a big two-way center, has been the Devils #1 center since Scott Gomez left the club to chase the money. He has put up two seasons of 60+ points during that time period.
6. Ilya Kovalchuk, LW/RW
Kovalchuk is New Jersey’s main offensive threat. He has scored more than 30 goals in back to back seasons for the Devils and needs to continue to be a force to be reckoned with after re-signing for big money with the club back in 2010.
5. Brian Gionta, RW
Gionta set the team record for goals in a season with 48 in the year after the lockout. He had three more seasons of 20+ goals for the Devils before signing with the Montreal Canadiens.
4. Jamie Langenbrunner, RW
Langenbrunner, the team’s captain for most of the time period, had three seasons of over 60 points for the Devils after the 2004-05 lockout. The end of his time in New Jersey was sour but fans cannot overlook the fact that he was a good player for most of his time there.
3. Patrik Elias, LW/C
Elias is the best forward in the history of the New Jersey Devils. He holds the club records for goals, assists and points and continues to be an offensive threat for the Devils while still maintaining his strong defensive play, as well.
2. Zach Parise, LW
Although fans of the Devils will not look back fondly on Parise’s time in New Jersey, he is the obvious choice for number two on the list after putting up five seasons of 30+ goals (including potting 45 goals one year). Parise was never quite the same player in the postseason for the Devils, though.
1. Martin Brodeur, G
There is no other answer.
Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/, http://hockey-reference.com/