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Devils start new era with new GM, coach, captain

by Mike G. Morreale

JETS (1-0-0) at DEVILS (0-0-0)

TV: TSN3, MSG+ 2

NEWARK, N.J. -- The next chapter in the history of the New Jersey Devils begins Friday against the Winnipeg Jets at Prudential Center.

With general manager Ray Shero, who replaced Hockey Hall of Fame member Lou Lamoriello as GM on May 4, and John Hynes, the youngest coach in the League, the Devils open 2015-16 with renewed energy, enthusiasm and hope of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in four seasons.

"[Lamoriello] had done things for a long time here and was tremendously successful and built the organization the way he saw fit and left a tremendous legacy for us to follow," Hynes said. "For us, it's implementing the vision that Ray Shero has as a general manager that includes the culture and things that he would like to see on and off the ice."

Lamoriello, who was Devils GM for 28 seasons, left to become GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 23. The Devils went 32-36-14 last season, the worst record during the Lamoriello era.

What does Hynes expect in his first season on the job?

"To maximize [our potential]," Hynes said. "We want to try to maximize every player's abilities, and at the end of the season if we can look back and say that we got everything we could out of this team, that's a positive. Whatever that end result is, we don't know yet. But I think the job of a coach and a team at the end of the year is that there's no regrets and you gave yourself a chance every night."

Friday also will mark the debut of defenseman Andy Greene as Devils captain. He was named to the role after practice Friday.

"I think I'll just go about my business the same way I've always gone," Greene said. "Be the same player and person. It's a letter. But I'll continue to play and be that same player."

The Devils will get the royal treatment Friday when they enter Prudential Center a few hours before the opening faceoff on a red carpet and in the presence of their fans in Championship Plaza.

It's the first time the Devils are opening the regular season at home since starting the 2011-12 season at home with a 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Jets are playing their second of four straight road games to begin the season. They beat the Boston Bruins 6-2 on Thursday. It was the first win in Boston for the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise since March 31, 2007, and ended a 13-game losing streak there.

The Jets' six goals were scored by six players, and one player from all four forwards lines had a goal against the Bruins.

"It's huge. You're going to need sustained scoring all year," Jets right wing Blake Wheeler said. "You can't rely on one line. We've played that game before and it doesn't get us very far. [Balance] is what you need to be a good team."

Here are the projected lineups:


Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler

Mathieu Perreault - Mark Scheifele - Nikolaj Ehlers

Alexander Burmistrov - Adam Lowry - Drew Stafford

Nicolas Petan - Andrew Copp - Chris Thorburn

Ben Chiarot - Dustin Byfuglien

Toby Enstrom - Tyler Myers

Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba

Michael Hutchinson

Ondrej Pavelec

Injured: Grant Clitsome (back)

Scratched: Adam Pardy, Paul Postma, Anthony Peluso


Mike Cammalleri - Travis Zajac - Lee Stempniak

Adam Henrique - Jacob Josefson - Kyle Palmieri

Reid Boucher - Sergey Kalinin - Jiri Tlusty

Tuomo Ruutu - Stephen Gionta - Jordin Tootoo

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson

Jon Merrill - John Moore

David Schlemko - Damon Severson

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Injured: Patrik Elias (knee)

Scratched: Stefan Matteau, Brian O'Neill, Eric Gelinas

Status report: O'Neill, who was acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings, was serving as an extra forward in his second day of practice with the Devils. Hynes said no decision has been made as to when the right wing would play. … Maurice said the decision to start goaltender Michael Hutchinson against the Devils was based on the Jets playing on back-to-back nights and to allow Pavelec some rest after playing against the Bruins.

Who's Hot: Ladd leads Jets players with five goals in 11 games against the Devils. … Zajac led the Devils in the preseason with two goals and three points in four games.


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