"We bought the team [in August 2013] with the intention of winning, and obviously, the last two seasons have been disappointing to us," Harris said in early May. "We want to build an elite organization, and what that means is we're consistently in the mix and deep in the playoffs for a Stanley Cup.
"We're going to really put in place plans that allow us to do that. Every decision will be made around that philosophy."
Harris couldn't have envisioned that Lamoriello, who resigned as Devils president July 23 to become general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, wouldn't be around to help put those plans in place.
Before Lamoriello took the Toronto job after nearly three decades with New Jersey, it was clear Shero was calling the shots.
He hired John Hynes as coach June 2. Hynes coached the Pittsburgh Penguins' American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton when Shero was Penguins GM.
On July 9, Shero announced David Conte would not return as Devils scouting director. Conte was a scout for New Jersey for 31 years.
Shero is hopeful the moves have created optimism about the future of the Devils. Here are four others: