It's been a rough offseason Devils fans. Sure, there has been slow, but steady progress made towards icing a hockey team that more accurately fits the modern style of play in the NHL. However, the strides made in personnel have done little to fill the void left in our hearts by the changing of the guard. Out are the days of Marty Brodeur, Scott Stevens, and though this still doesn't feel true, Lou Lamoriello. In are Ray Shero, John Hynes, and a host of other people for which we still rightfully remain skeptical.
Well, I don't know about you, but the signing of Adam Larsson to a long, cap friendly deal did as good of a job as a signing could do in lifting my spirits. Is that because I bought his jersey two months into his tenure in New Jersey? Maybe. Is it because it finally gives Adam Larsson a chance to flourish as an imperative part of the future of the franchise after being stick under Deboer's iron fist for whatever reason? Absolutely. Is it because I have an irrational hard-on for defensively responsible, smooth skating, right handed defenseman with incredibly vision? Well, I think that question was descriptive enough to make it rhetorical.
Regardless, much like the eerily similar Henrique signing two years ago, locking Larsson up for over half a decade shows that this team has a vision. If Larsson's career trajectory continues to stay on the incline then that vision might just be 20/20. If his play last year was any indication, he should grow seamlessly into a first pairing defenseman amongst a host of other young, up and coming defenseman. That's what this team has always been, and with the way the prospect pool is currently stocked, that's how this team will continue to operate. A defensively responsible team built from the goaltender out. As crazy as this seems, Adam Larsson is a veteran defenseman compared to anyone else on the Devils blueline not named Andy Greene. His improvement in play comes at the perfect time. A time when he is about to bear the burden of many more responsibilities. Responsibilities that I, and apparently the Devils, feel he is ready for. There have been many Octobers I have been more anxious for, but there is still a lot to get excited about this upcoming season. Adam Larsson's potential is one of those bright spots.