And that, my friends, is why it's never safe to doubt the man that built the entire foundation for a organization that has won back-to-back Stanley Cups before coming to New Jersey and working laughably lopsided trades in back-to-back offseasons.
I'll admit, letting a cheap, reliable option like Beau Bennett hit the open market when the Devils have a lack of capable right wing talent that rivals the current Presidential administration was a bit disconcerting. Opting out of going all-in on the Kevin Shattenkirk sweepstakes was probably the smart move in the long term. That said, it left me feeling so queasy about the abomination that is currently their blue line that signing Brian Boyle - a solid 4th line center that can contribute in multiple facets of the game - couldn't even settle my stomach.
Then, like a thief in the night, an NHL GM with a proven track record of success reminded us that we are just a bunch of assholes spouting off baseless opinions that only pass the eye test of the visually impaired. The snake is at it's most dangerous when it's prey is vulnerable. Ray Shero lunged from the tall grass to sink his frugal fangs into the ass of the Washington Capitals before the reverberations of impatient Devils' fans that were undoubtedly stomping their feet had completely subsided.
A top 6 winger like Marcus Johansson for a second round pick that resulted from the stashing of dead money and a third round pick that resulted from the departure of the man who I'll love always and forever, but a man whose stubbornness made a full rebuild necessary in the first place? That deal in an of itself might not be a heist - per se - but the collective transactions of Ray Shero since his arrival can certainly be viewed as such.
Obviously these moves will have to start returning players that can keep pucks out of the net before we start talking about the person behind them like he's orchestrated 'Ocean's Eleven' on behalf of a team that somehow sucked their way into having the first overall pick. However, if there's anything we have learned over the last few summers it's that they shouldn't be judged until they've reached their conclusion. The New Jersey Devils suddenly have something that would have been considered a pipe dream less than three years ago, and that is the makings of what one could possibly confuse as forward depth (if they drank way too much over the holiday weekend). Maybe that gets flipped for some defensive help, or maybe they hold serve and dedicate August to helping Cory Schneider find the cape we was wearing in 2015-2016. Whatever the case may be, the person making those decisions still has my trust after flashing his mojo with the "no fucking way, really?" acquisition of MoJo.