Seattle Kraken, New Jersey Devils

Devils, Kraken Should Be A Barn Burner: NJ GM

In what Kraken fans should come to expect here on, we have a little pre-game exclusive today on “Simmer’s Morning Skate” with New Jersey Devils General Manager Tom Fitzgerald. His club is in a tight battle for first place in the Metro Division, presently one point behind the Carolina Hurricanes.

If the Seattle Kraken are the surprise story out west, which they are, then the Devils would be the same thing out east. Young, fast, tenacious, with solid goaltending.

That last item is the biggest improvement from last season, if ‘improvement’ is the correct word. The Devils went through seven different goaltenders in 2021-’22 due to a rash of injuries, so it would be difficult to truly evaluate the position. They definitely upgraded with the off-season acquisition of 27-year-old Vitek Vanecek from the Washington Capitals.


Tom Fitzgerald is a hockey lifer, having grown up in the hockey hotbed of Boston. Heavily recruited to play college hockey in the region, he decided upon the Providence Friars for whom he played two seasons. Just prior to that while finishing up his prep career, he was drafted 17th-overall in 1986 by the New York Islanders.

Fitzgerald played more than 1,000 NHL games over a career that spanned stops with seven different teams. He lost a Stanley Cup Final as a player with the Florida Panthers in 1996 and won a Stanley Cup as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009.

We talk about the Cup win, his current team, the match-up with the Kraken, playing for legendary coach Pat Quinn in Toronto, and being recruited for college hockey.

Game Night

The Devils feature a triple-threat to the Kraken up front, with leading scorer Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, and Nico Hischier leading the way. Dougie Hamilton has 38 points from the blueline. The Devils have a record of 29-12-and-3 under head coach Lindy Ruff and presently have the NHL’s longest winning streak at five games.

((Sorry for the pucks in the first half of the interview – we had to do some audio fixes. They subside in the second half. Worth waiting/listening through. Cheers!))

Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald on “Simmer’s Morning Skate”

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.