The first of every month this season, NewJerseyDevils.com will release their Big Read. The long-form article will dive deeper into a player, a moment in Devils history, or other interesting storylines. In the first installment, we take one final look back at the team's impressive off-season. Enjoy!
Nowadays, you can pull out your phone and ask artificial intelligence to give you directions. There's no real guesswork, no planning, no real thought goes into it. Hell, even the directions are spoken to you as you drive along. Talk about easy.
But building up a franchise into a perennial powerhouse and competitor is anything but easy.
Back before the world resided in the palm of your hands, you'd pull out and unfold a paper map. You'd place it down in front of you and, with your finger, you'd trace your path from Point A to Point B.
You have this vision of where you'd like to be and you decide how to get there.
Following a difficult 2018-19 season, riddled with injuries and 51 total losses - 41 in regulation -the New Jersey Devils pulled out their map, placed it in front of them, and traced their path.
"There are a lot of different roads to Rome," Josh Harris, Managing Partner of the Devils, said way back on April 8, on locker room cleanout day.
There may be a lot of different roads, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a path more entertaining than the one the Devils took this summer.
Before the bus pulls away and a new NHL season begins, New Jersey's summer deserves one final glance through the rearview mirror.