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FEATURE: Breaking Down the MOU

Amanda Stein takes a look at the Memorandum of Understanding for the new Collective Bargaining Agreement

by Amanda Stein amandacstein / NewJerseyDevils.com

On Friday, July 10, 2020, the National Hockey League and NHL Players Association announced a Memorandum of Understanding on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). 

The new deal will carry through to the 2025-26 season, providing labor peace for the next six years. The deal was announced alongside the league's Return to Play plan, that will see the League back on the ice this summer in hopes of awarding the Stanley Cup.

Video: 1-ON-1 | CBA discussion with Tom Fitzgerald

We dissected the 71-page MoU and have outlined several changes made between the League and the NHLPA. 

From a return to the Olympics, to the 2020 Draft date, and when next season will start, the following is relevant info in addition to changes from the prior CBA: 

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FEATURE: Devils Managing Partners Make Donation to Support Community

Devils Managing Partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer and the Devils Care Foundation donated $200,000 to support Newark Working Kitchens

by Staff / NewJerseyDevils.com

To continue giving back to the Newark community, the New Jersey Devils have partnered up with the city in support of Newark Working Kitchens. The $200,000 donation from the Devils Care Foundation will help NWK's efforts to feed the city's low-income senior, disabled and family housing residents, people without homes, and other vulnerable Newark citizens.

Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka recently announced that Newark Working Kitchens, a free meal delivery service for Newark residents designed to create and sustain jobs while supporting those most critically in need of food, has delivered more than 200,000 meals during its first 12 weeks of operations. NWK has built a more sustainable model supporting Newark's recovery by ordering a minimum of 200 meals a week from the 21 participating restaurants.

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BIG READ: The Path Forward

An in-depth look at the Devils decision to name Tom Fitzgerald the Executive Vice President and General Manager, and Lindy Ruff Head Coach

by Chris Wescott TheChrisWescott / NewJerseyDevils.com

On January 12, 2020, Tom Fitzgerald stepped in front of a media contingency shoulder to shoulder with New Jersey Devils Managing Partner Josh Harris. His head, rightfully spinning.

The Devils were giving Fitzgerald a tremendous opportunity that many would love but few achieve: to step in as the general manager of a National Hockey League franchise.

"I never thought I'd become a general manager like this," he said, showing the emotion one would come to expect when taking over for a friend and mentor. Harris opined confidence in Fitzgerald at the time, stating the franchise was lucky to have an executive like Fitzgerald waiting in the wings for a chance to prove himself.

Nearly six months later, serving under the weight of the uncertainty of the interim tag, navigating the perils of an international pandemic, a hockey season paused and then ended prematurely, a multitude of trades, and a coaching search, Fitzgerald still stands. And better yet, he stands taller than before, assured of his place with the organization and newly dubbed the Executive Vice President and full-time General Manager of the New Jersey Devils.

"When Tom took over the role of GM in January, we were committed to moving the organization in a new direction," Managing Partners Harris and David Blitzer said in a joint statement. "Having gone through the process of interviewing various candidates, including Tom, and reviewing his work in the interim, we feel that he is the best fit for the New Jersey Devils moving forward."

As the organization presses to move forward with Fitzgerald steering the ship, the club has also found their next head coach. The coaching search, led by Fitzgerald but involving the club's leadership group, determined Lindy Ruff was the best fit to stand behind the bench at Prudential Center for the coming years.

"Here's the reality," said Blitzer. "We think the core of our team is very exciting for a very long period of time."

But that core needs to be directed properly.

"It was about the right coach at the right time for the right team," said President of the New Jersey Devils, Jake Reynolds.

But what does that mean exactly? What went into entrusting Fitzgerald in this role? What went into tabbing Ruff as "the guy" and what ultimately swayed the Devils to carve a path forward led by these two?

We'll start at the beginning.

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FEATURE: Severson Steps Up for Devils in Sixth Season

The Devils defenseman discussed stepping up, his season in review, and his plans for the off-season during his end of season media availability

by Catherine Bogart catherinebogart / NewJerseyDevils.com

The Devils defensive core saw some major changes this season with trades and injuries. As a result, several players stepped up to fill the gaps. One of which was Damon Severson. The defenseman spoke with the media at the start of July about his sixth season with the Devils and his offseason plans.

Severson struggled at the beginning of the season but was able to rebound and gain consistency. He finished the season contributing not only defensively, but offensively as well. He discussed what it felt like to turn his season around and find his groove.

Video: SEASON END | Damon Severson

"It was nice to see myself turning around and things kind of changed and I got a lot more confidence and I started playing with a little more swagger out there," Severson said in his media exit interview. "I kind of realized that I was going to be put on the ice no matter what the situation was, I had that confidence be put in me from the coaching staff and my teammates again. That was just a key for sure and seemed to take off from there.

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FEATURE: Schneider Continues to Give Back

The goaltender's community initiative, Cory's Keepers, helps give back to the New Jersey communities that have become Schneider's home.

by Catherine Bogart catherinebogart / NewJerseyDevils.com

Although he hails from Boston, Devils veteran goaltender Cory Schneider has made New Jersey his home over the last seven years. The state now holds a special place in his heart.

"I'm from Boston but both my kids were born in New Jersey, and we've been here, seven, eight years now so it feels more like home than in Boston has," said Schneider. "It's more like a visit when we go back to Boston. So we're proud of that and we're proud of playing for the Devils and being in Newark and being a part of New Jersey."

Due to the Schneider family's love for the New Jersey community, Cory and his wife Jill have been inspired to give back.

Video: COMMUNITY | Schneider Gives Back

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FEATURE: An In-Depth Look at the History of Seventh Overall

Take a look at seven great players who were taken seventh overall in the NHL Draft

by Amanda Stein amandacstein / NewJerseyDevils.com

On Friday night, the New Jersey Devils finally found out their positioning for the 2020 NHL Draft. New Jersey will make their selection with the seventh overall pick. It's been said that this year is one of the deepest draft's scouts have seen in a while, which an exciting prospect when picking within the Top 10, there should be a valuable player in the mix when the Devils make their selection. 

And at seven, there have been many slam-dunks, especially in recent years. 

Video: 3-ON-3 | Devils Pick at Seven

Dating back to 2009 the impact of seventh overall selections in the NHL Entry Draft have been prominent players on their rosters, big-time contributors, and also bred several franchise cornerstones. Along with several outlined in detail below, you can add the names of Jeff Skinner ('10), Matt Dumba ('12), Darnell Nurse ('13), Ivan Provorov ('15), and Clayton Keller ('16) as players who have made significant impacts in recent years. While picking seventh may seem less of consolation after difficult seasons, the recent influx of talent selected at the seven-spot have been high-impact players, something the New Jersey Devils hope to find themselves at the 2020 NHL Draft. 

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FEATURE: NHL's Unique 2020 Draft Lottery Explained

Everything you need to know about the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery and the status of the Vancouver and Arizona first-round picks owned by the Devils

by Marc Ciampa / NewJerseyDevils.com

The Draft Lottery for the 2020 NHL Draft will be held on Friday, June 26, ironically the day the actual NHL Draft was supposed to be held in Montreal. You can tune in to watch our NHL Draft Lottery Show on njd.TV and Devils social media Friday at 8 PM ET.

Video: 3-ON-3 | Lottery Odds

Due to the unique circumstances surrounding a paused NHL season that is now getting ready to return to play, the Draft Lottery could potentially be conducted in two phases. Here's what we know about it: 

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FEATURE: 25 Facts for the 25th Anniversary of the 95 Cup

Check out 25 facts about the New Jersey Devils first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history

by Amanda Stein amandacstein / NewJerseyDevils.com

June 24, 2020, marks the 25th anniversary of the 1995 Stanley Cup championship, which the Devils won by sweeping the Detroit Red Wings in the Final.

All-day long, we're celebrating the Cup victory on social media and our website. Check out Stan Fischler's piece on the Cup run here, and join us at 8 pm ET on Facebook, Twitter, njd.TV, Twitch and YouTube as Devils radio play-by-play voice Matt Loughlin joins members of the '95 team Ken Daneyko, Bobby Carpenter, Bruce Driver, John Maclean, and Jim Dowd, to discuss the run. 

Check out 25 things to know about that season below!

1. The 1995 playoff was the first time in franchise history the Devils appeared in the Stanley Cup final.

Tweet from @NJDevils: "The Devils became a team that had to be feared."@StanFischler recaps the 1995 Stanley Cup Champions and the Devils team that was born in the lockout.#WeAreOne | #NJDevilshttps://t.co/tR9atbJnpZ

2. Finishing the regular season as the fifth seed in the East, the Devils became the lowest playoff seed to ever win the Stanley Cup. That record held until 2012 when the 13th seeded LA Kings beat the Devils in six games to win the Stanley Cup.

 

3. The final, between the Devils and Red Wings was played in a single time zone. At the time, the Red Wings were the easternmost Western Conference team, with Detroit and New Jersey in the same time zone, despite different NHL conferences.

The 1995 final marked the first time since 1980 that the Stanley Cup Final had been held in a single time zone. 

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FEATURE: Schneider is Staying Busy

Devils goaltender remains involved in NHLPA discussions despite Devils not returning to ice

by Amanda Stein amandacstein / NewJerseyDevils.com

Cory Schneider knows his New Jersey Devils won't be a part of the NHL's plan to return to play later this summer, but it's something the team has finally come to terms with.

"We didn't want to stand in the way of what was needed to be done to get back to playing." Schneider said of the unanimous 'yes' vote from the Devils on the Return to Plan plan proposed by the NHL.

Schneider is the Devils player representative with the National Hockey League's Player Association and is the voting member on behalf of his club. He casted the Devils a unanimous vote knowing full well they were on the outside looking in.

Video: BLACK AND RED | Cory Schneider

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FEATURE: Swiss Army Nico

Devils forward Nico Hischier is completing Swiss Military Service during the NHL pause

by Amanda Stein amandacstein / NewJerseyDevils.com

Nico Hischier's accent is thick. It had been a while since he had engaged in such a lengthy English discussion. He has been home in Switzerland ever since the NHL paused the season and players were allowed to return to their native countries. 

He's back to speaking Swiss-German on a regular basis. When the NHL season was paused, he returned to Naters and moved back in with his parents Rino and Katja, alongside his brother Luca and sister Nina.

Video: SEASON END | Nico Hischier

The first few weeks, Nico was making do with what exercise equipment he could find, training hard with the potential of returning to New Jersey at any moment. No one knew what the next few weeks and now months would hold, so Nico stayed the best prepared he could. When it seemed like the break would be longer than hoped, which is now stretched into over three months, the 21-year-old decided to report for his civic duty.

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