In much the same way that a curbside dealer of three card monte has a stronger affinity for repeat costumers, I refuse to believe there's anything Ray Shero relishes more than his opportunities to sit down at the negotiating table with Peter Chiarelli. For that reason, you probably could have told me the Devils flipped a first round pick for an industrial-sized garbage bag filled with all the blue Oilers jerseys that became irrelevant when they opted to dress as poorly as they are run, and I'd hesitate to criticize the exchange. With how flawlessly the Taylor Hall trade has aged, I've come to look at a matching of wits between the GM's of Edmonton and New Jersey as one that makes the odds of David versus Goliath look even. Never mind that the latter has been batting damn near 1.000 since taking over the Devils, because the former is more likely to toss shit at the wall and see what sticks than find himself within a stone's throw of outsmarting a more accomplished adversary.
But let's put aside the fact that Peter Chiarelli could ruin a wet dream, because - in adding Pat Maroon to a group of forwards that's starting to rival Milan Lucic's pockets in depth - Devils' fans will be Glad to know that Ray Shero did far, far better for himself than acquiring another team's trash. While another rental at left wing was just about the furthest thing from being an organizational need, it makes total sense that a sizable winger who can bang bodies during the time of year in which it becomes much harder to simply speed past them was a want. Add to that physical presence a nifty set of hands that would make a widdler jealous and a complementary scoring touch, and the recurring nightmare of cluttering the power play with a human parking cone - sorry, Jimmy Hayes - becomes a counterproductive concern of the past. New Jersey didn't just get another finisher, they got one who is built to do so in the tough areas that have proven torturous to the team down the stretch of close games.
Like a move that was relatively frugal in comparison to the rest of trade deadline day or not, the Devils are unquestionably a more skilled and intimidating team than they were a couple hours ago. Admittedly, I'm not entirely sure how the lineup shakes out since it's more heavy on left wingers than Hollywood, but there are worse problems to have than too many options. The Devils gave up a 3rd round pick and someone who is really only considered a prospect because he's too young to be completely written off for the type of versatility that typically - and statistically (See: Maroon's 26 points in 42 postseason games) - pays dividends in the playoffs. Ray Shero made it clear that's what he had his eyes on when he scooped Michael Grabner, and he doubled down on his faith in this Devils' team by picking up Pat Maroon. With the Peter Chiarelli's farce-driven fate on their side and their young roster starting to appear rather alluring, I have a tough time envisioning a scenario where it doesn't pay off...
Pray for the well-being of every NHL talking head that only recently stopped neutral zone trapping the Devils in an incredibly outdated box by calling them "boring". If the topic of Taylor Hall's Hart Trophy candidacy didn't blow their minds than New Jersey becoming a desirable destination will certainly finish the job...