The New Jersey Devils joined the NHL in 1982 as an expansion team. Before that, the team played in the American Hockey League. The Devils played their first game against the Hartford Whalers and won 4-1. Back then, the Devils were the talk of the league and had a lot of hype surrounding them.
In their inaugural season, the Devils made a respectable showing, finishing third in the division with a 41-25-8 record. Superstar rookie goaltender Ron Hextall led the way with a 26-20-6 record, playing in all 82 games. Hextall was a huge reason the Devils made the playoffs.
But in the playoffs, the Devils made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Finals. They faced the Montreal Canadiens, who Guy Lafleur led. The intense series went back and forth, with both teams displaying superb play. However, in the end, the Canadiens won 4-0-1, giving them their first Stanley Cup in their 41st season.
Since then, the Devils have remained a top team in the NHL. Over the years, they’ve always made the playoffs, no matter what the format. They’ve also won a few Stanley Cups, most recently in 2003. And, of course, their most popular player of all time is goaltender Martin Brodeur. He’s been with the Devils for all of their playoff and Stanley Cup success and their lean years.
So, what do the upcoming seasons hold for the New Jersey Devils? It’s hard to say, as they’ve been caught up in some exciting and highly-rated decisions by the NHL. For example, the Devils lost their starting goalie and top defenseman in the same off-season. And, even though they’ve replaced those players, it’s still unclear how their offense will perform. Nevertheless, the Devils are still a force to be reckoned with in the NHL and are sure to continue making a presence in playoff contention.