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A brief history: New Jersey Devils

by Michael Stainkamp
The franchise now known as the New Jersey Devils began its NHL life in 1974 as the Kansas City Scouts. Two years later, the team was sold and moved to Denver, where it was renamed the Colorado Rockies. After six sub-.500 seasons and one trip to the playoffs, the franchise was sold again and moved to the New Jersey Meadowlands for the 1982-83 season.

The Devils were no better in New Jersey at the start than they had been in Denver -- they didn't make the playoffs until 1987-88, when now-coach John MacLean's OT winner on the season's final night put them into the postseason for the first time since the move. They stunned the New York Islanders and Washington and got within one win of making the Stanley Cup Final before losing Game 7 of the Wales Conference Final at Boston.

The '87-88 season was notable for another reason -- the arrival of Lou Lamoriello, who has run the team ever since. Lamoriello went through four coaches before hiring Jacques Lemaire after a first-round playoff loss in 1993.

With Lemaire behind the bench and rookie Martin Brodeur in goal, the Devils again made it to Game 7 of the conference finals in 1994, this time losing to the Rangers in double overtime. But one year later, the Devils rolled through the East and swept favored Detroit in the Final to bring the Cup to New Jersey for the first time.

The Devils won again in 2000, beating Dallas in six games, barely missed repeating in 2001 when they lost to Colorado in a seven-game Final, and brought the Cup home again in 2003 with a seven-game Final victory over Anaheim, with Brodeur getting three shutouts in the series.

Three years ago, the Devils moved from the Meadowlands to their own arena in Newark, where Brodeur broke the NHL record for wins by a goaltender in March 2009. Though they've struggled in the playoffs, the Devils under Lamoriello have continued to be one of the NHL's most consistently successful franchises.
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