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ILWT Audition 2012: Should New Jersey Devils Fans Be Worried?

Earlier this month, I put out the call looking for new writers for In Lou We Trust to write about the New Jersey Devils. I've opened up the audition to the community at large in order to get some new perspectives and additional voices on the front page with regularity. Since then, I've received eleven entries. Regardless of how they're received, I thank the writers of each and every one of them - you know who you are - for stepping up and submitting an entry.

Throughout the next two weeks, I will post each one under an anonymous name so you can discuss and critique the post without regard to who actually wrote it. I can ensure you that I did not change any of the content outside of formatting it in to the SBN platform. To that end, please note that I don't necessarily agree with what the posts actually say. I'm just letting them stand on their own. Please be constructive in any criticism and do offer your thoughts about whether you liked (or disliked) the post in addition to discussing it's content. Don't be mean, but be fair.

This sixth entry comes from Writer F PjortNJ, who made their submission on July 17. In this submission, the question is clear as the title: should New Jersey Devils fans be worried? Read what Writer F PjortNJ has to say about that very question after the jump.

It appears to be a fairly turbulent time for New Jersey Devils fans. With a looming financial crisis, the loss of a beloved homegrown captain, a legendary goaltender nearing (or ignoring) the end of his career, a very serious question stands to be answered, should the fans be worried? The answer, unfortunately, isn't so simple; there are a couple ways to look at it, but myself, as a fan and self-proclaimed analyst, I say no.

While it's true that the loss of Voldemort Zach Parise was significant, and is something that Devils fans shouldn't be happy about, it's time to realize that it simply isn't the end of the world. Parise WAS talented, and he WAS arguably one of the hardest working players in the NHL, but he WASN'T a game stealer, he WASN'T a "superstar". He was a 30 goal scorer, fortunately for us, we have two more of those, and one of them is named Ilya Kovalchuk. Parise was due for a raise, sure, but he wasn't due for the raise that he got, a weak free agent market, and many teams left wanting , drove that price to a level where it didn't deserve to be. If that's the price that it takes to keep Zach Parise, then simply put, we don't want him.

I've been reading a lot of articles saying that Patrik Elias (the Dev's all time leading scorer) and David Clarkson, strongly benefitted from playing with Parise... well, sure, I suppose they did, but their numbers sure as hell did not. When was the last time that Elias or Clarkson even played on the same line as Parise? I couldn't tell you. The numbers that they earned had nothing to do with him. It's true, Elias (while I still idolize the man) is getting older, and Clarkson, while he is a fan favorite, will probably not score that amount of goals again, those pieces are still on the board, and newer, fresher pieces are being added to compliment them. With the Free agent season still chugging along, I would be supremely surprised if some talent didn't come our way. Maybe one or both of the Kostitsyn brothers, maybe Semin, the fact remains that the Dev's have about fourteen million dollars left in cap space. Oh and I forgot to mention something, Adam Henrique.

Despite being selected late in the third round, and being neglected by analysts and scouts around the league, Henrique proved everyone wrong. He was a Calder finalist, he was one point behind the rookie scoring leader, and finally, he was the hero of the playoffs. I will NEVER forget Doc Emerick yelling "HENRIQUE! IT'S OVER!" when he sent the blueshirts off to the golf range. Adam Henrique is unflappable, and he's got a bright future ahead of him.

So between all of the pieces that the Devils have, Kovy, Elias, Marty, Clarkson, a healthy Zajac, blooming stars like Josefson, Larsson, Henrique, add that to Scotty Stevens now standing behind the Devils bench, do you think that we should be worried?

Editor's Note: Now that you read Writer F PjortNJ's submission asking whether Devils fans should be worried, I want to know what you think. Should Devils fans be worried? Are you worried? What did you think of how Writer F PjortNJ wrote this post? Based on how it was written and what was it about, is this the kind of post you would want to see regularly at In Lou We Trust? Please leave your answers and other comments about this post in the comments. Thanks go to Writer F PjortNJ for the submission and thank you for reading.