A Devils Fan’s Guide to the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Blake Coleman, New Jersey Devils, Taylor Hall

The puck is about to drop on Stanley Cup Playoffs and once again the New Jersey Devils are not a part of it. But there are plenty of former Devils and Devils’ employees who will be participating in the restart to the completion of the NHL’s paused season.

Related: Devils Long Layoff a Silver Lining For Many Reasons

There are a lot of options for picking a team to root for or follow if you are a Devils fan, as there are former players, coaches, and staff scattered throughout the remaining 24 teams. Here’s a quick recap on who is participating and who you can support by throwing on that old shirsey or jersey again. 

Taylor Hall Spitfires jersey raised WFCU Centre 2018
Taylor Hall signs autographs during the evening that the Windsor Spitfires raised his jersey at the WFCU Centre (Dave Jewell/THW )

We went through the trouble of looking through all of the rosters (so you don’t have to) and came up with this little list for you to browse through. Who knows, maybe at the end of all of this some of them will end up with their name on the Stanley Cup.

Arizona Coyotes

Michael Grabner, Taylor Hall, Steve Sullivan (interim GM), John MacLean (assistant coach), Phil Housley (assistant coach), Corey Schwab (goaltending coach).

Obviously, the big name here is Grabner. Kidding. We all know it’s Hall. The Coyotes success in the play-in tournament is tied to a first-round pick. If the Coyotes are Team E and win the NHL Draft Lottery the Devils won’t receive Arizona’s first-rounder in the 2020 NHL Draft and will instead get their 2021 first-round selection.

Boston Bruins

John Moore, Jay Pandolfo (assistant coach), Kevin Dean (assistant coach), Jamie Langenbrunner (director of player development), Mike Dunham (goaltending development coach), Tom McVie (pro scout).

John Moore #2, New Jersey Devils (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
John Moore with the New Jersey Devils – January 20, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

A few fan favorites to pull for with the Bruins, and a few former Devils that were a part of New Jersey’s three Stanley Cup championships.

Calgary Flames

Geoff Ward (interim head coach).

A name from the more recent era of Devils teams. Ward was an assistant for three years in New Jersey and is currently the interim coach for Calgary. 

Carolina Hurricanes

Sami Vatanen, Peter Harrold (skills development).

Another fan favorite here in Harrold…but more importantly like the Hall trade there are pending conditions involving Vatanen after he was dealt by the Devils at the trade deadline in late February. He needs to play in 70% of Carolina’s playoff games for New Jersey to get a 3rd round pick. If he does not the belief is that the Devils don’t receive a pick.

New Jersey Devils Sami Vatanen
New Jersey Devils Sami Vatanen (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

If there was no pause in the season it’s debatable that Vatanen would have ever suited up for the Canes. He never even had a full practice with the team. But here we are four months later and the defenseman will be playing in the play-in round against the New York Rangers. 

Chicago Blackhawks

John Quenneville, Sheldon Brookbank (assistant coach), Peter Sundstrom (European pro scout), Don Lever (pro scout).

Whether or not Quenneville plays is any Devils fan out there pulling for him after an abysmal tenure in the Garden State? 

Colorado Avalanche

Craig Billington (assistant GM).

A name that is a blast from the past for those that remember playing NHLPA ’93 on their SEGA Genesis.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Stefan Matteau.

Related: Beauts Addition of Alyson Matteau Highlights Week of NWHL Signings

See Chicago.

Dallas Stars

None. Tyler Seguin is always nice to look at (shrugs).

Tyler Seguin Dallas Stars
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Edmonton Oilers

Adam Larsson.

Florida Panthers

Brian Boyle, Joel Quenneville (head coach).

How can you not root for Boyle, who was an instant fan favorite during his brief tenure in New Jersey? Before he was Coach Q who won three Cups with the Blackhawks, Quenneville played for the Colorado Rockies and the inaugural Devils team after the franchise relocated.

Minnesota Wild

Bill Guerin (GM), Zach Parise, Brad Bombardir (director of player development).

Two guys who won a Cup with the Devils and one that didn’t but maybe could have if he stayed in New Jersey.

Montreal Canadiens

Claude Julien (head coach), Kirk Muller (associate coach), Sean Burke (pro scout/goaltending consultant).

Sean Burke New Jersey Devils
Sean Burke led the New Jersey Devils to their first-ever playoff berth. (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images)

Julien, Muller, and Burke never won the Cup in New Jersey but have all had great careers since their tenure with the Devils ended. 

Nashville Predators

John Hynes (head coach)

At the start of this past season, Hynes was behind the bench in New Jersey and Taylor Hall was on his bench. Now the two will be adversaries in the play-in round that kicks off on Aug. 2.

New York Islanders

Lou Lamoriello (GM), Chris Lamoriello (assistant GM), Jacques Lemaire (special assignment coach), Andy Greene.

Wouldn’t it be something to see Greene raise the Cup in what could be his last season as an NHL player? The former captain of the Devils will be a minutes-muncher for the Isles if they can advance past the Panthers in the play-in round.

New York Rangers

Tuomo Ruutu (assistant director of player development in Europe).

Let’s be honest – you likely weren’t going to root for the Rangers anyway if you’re reading this article.

Philadelphia Flyers

Chuck Fletcher (president, GM)

See NYR.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Tom Kostopoulos (player development coach)

See Philadelphia.

St. Louis Blues

Larry Robinson (hockey ops senior consultant, assistant coach).

Marc Savard and Mike Van Ryn are assistant coaches if you really want to grasp at straws. Neither played a single game for the Devils. Who wouldn’t want to see Robinson raise his nine thousandth Stanley Cup?

Tampa Bay Lightning

Blake Coleman, Patrick Maroon, Scott Wedgewood, Stephen Gionta (pro scout), Dave Andreychuk (VP of corporate and community affairs).

Blake Coleman Tampa Bay Lightning
Blake Coleman, Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo by Scott Audette /NHLI via Getty Images)

Coleman was a fan favorite with the Devils and is now on one of the favorites to win the Cup. He might be the missing ingredient that Tampa was lacking last season when they were unceremoniously swept by Columbus.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Brendan Shanahan (president/alternate governor), Scott Pellerin (senior director of player development).

Does anyone outside of Toronto really want to see the Leafs win their first Cup since 1967?

Vancouver Canucks

Louis Domingue.

If you blinked you may have missed Domingue’s tenure with the Devils, but they do also have Jack Hughes’ big brother.

Vegas Golden Knights

Pete DeBoer (HC), Jon Merrill, George McPhee (president of hockey ops/alternate governor), Jim McKenzie (pro scout).

Peter DeBoer Vegas Golden Knights
Head coach Peter DeBoer of the Vegas Golden Knights (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

This is a smorgasbord of former Devils’ employees. DeBoer brought the franchise to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time nine years, can he bring Vegas back to the Final in his first year behind their bench?

Washington Capitals

Ilya Kovalchuk.

Kovy and Ovi could be a deadly duo this postseason. Summer of Ovi Part 2? Especially if Kovalchuk plays as he did in the 2012 playoffs for the Devils. We know some of you out there are still big fans of his.

Winnipeg Jets

None. No one wants to root for the team that erased an 0-4 deficit to win 5-4 in a shootout on opening night at Prudential Center anyway.

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