Yes, the Devils are at rock bottom. Yes, they've lost nine games in a row. Yes, the only goals that they have scored in the last three games came during the third period of a loss to a team that is so far and away the worst team in the league that if their season was turned into a sports parody it would simply have to be called 'A Minor-League Of Their Own'. Yes, watching them is a chore and elicits such a lack of feeling and emotion that I have to do so with one hand on my dick to make sure I still have sensations in my body. Yes, the current state of the New Jersey Devils makes the former state of last year's New Jersey Devils look like heaven on ice. Yes, Cory Schneider is having a down year, Adam Henrique and Kyle Palmieri have regressed to the mean statistically, Taylor Hall is fondly dreaming about the days in which his career was incinerating in a Western Canadian dumpster fire, and there is almost no positives for even the most optimistic of fan to blindly nit pick. Key word...almost.
You see, playing hopeless, listless hockey as they all but plummet into the sunken place may not seem like a step forward, but it's just as positive of a development as picking 11th in the draft for what seems like the 11th time in a row. I don't root for draft position and I never will, but organizational turnarounds are a lot easier to come by when you have the chance to select players that are more likely to contribute to it.
Ray Shero's goal from day one was to collect assets and with each passing, increasingly demoralizing loss those assets are getting better. I didn't even have to do my due diligence/required fawning over teenagers to know that. So while it sucks that trading Adam Larsson for Taylor Hall didn't accelerate the rebuilding process in a way that only spoiled, irrational Devils' fans would imagine that it would, it did inevitably give the Devils a better chance of filling the void left by doing so. Those picks are more valuable and it's all but a certainly that more than couple of them (they have ELEVEN) will be moved for players that can help now. Everyone that is invested in this team is feeling the growing pains that they should have felt last year if they weren't dulled by the aspirin that was Cory Schneider. That doesn't change the fact that this offseason is an important one, and - while it didn't feel like it in the moment - getting embarrassed by a team that has approximately 7.5 wins on the year can only make it a more productive one.