NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.
While the retirement of Ilya Kovalchuk may have set the New Jersey Devils back offensively, coach Peter DeBoer would prefer not to dwell on the past and, instead, focus on the future.
"It's tough to express, but when something comes at you like that out of left field, it's obviously not something that you would even consider from where I stand," DeBoer said. "When it does hit you, it's obviously disappointing. You catch your breath for a day and get ready to move forward."
The Devils added forwards Jaromir Jagr, Michael Ryder, Ryane Clowe and Rostislav Olesz during free agency to help offset the losses of Kovalchuk and David Clarkson, who signed a seven-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. General manager Lou Lamoriello also brought in free agent forward Damien Brunner on a tryout basis. Brunner, 27, spent five years playing for Zug in his native Switzerland before joining the Detroit Red Wings last season.