For as big of a Devils fan as I am, sometimes it is tough to remember all the players who have been with the organization for the last 25 years. If you asked me to name all the defenseman over the years I think I could easily name 85-90% of them, certainly nail most of the ones that played more than half a season. However, it is easy to forget the superstars who were trade deadline pick-ups like Phil Housley.
See 1996 was a strange year for Devils fans because we were just coming off a Cup win and down the stretch were barely battling for the final playoff spot. We made a few bold moves as a team which brought in players like Phil Housley, Dave Andreychuk and Esa Tikkanen. However, we lost our final game of the season 5-2 to the Senators thus leaving us two points out of a playoff spot. However, if we had won that game, we would have been tied with the Lightning and would have beaten them on the tie-breaker at the time (goals for and against). However, it didn't happen and our late season additions went other places the next season (Phil went to Washington).
However, his impact was significant scoring 16 points in 22 games down the stretch and I was happy to have had him as a pick-up on my team!
98-99 BAP Phil Housley Auto
Phil will always be a Jet and Sabre to me, but having this all-star defenseman on my time team was pretty cool, even if it was only for a little time!
BTW Here is an actual picture of Esa as a Devil for those who don't remember that!