The Devils don't have any stand out players this year. (Barring perhaps Kovalchuk, but he's been very streaky this season). Why would a skills competition feature sub par players? That just doesn't make sense... It's supposed to have the best players in the league.
The skills competition features that year's All-Stars -- outside roughly a dozen rookies, nobody goes to the Skills Competition unless they're playing in the game itself.
Patrik Elias is 16th in the NHL in scoring. Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise are both in the Top 40. As a team, the Devils are roughly middle-of-the-pack -- 8th in the Eastern Conference, and 18th in scoring. I understand the Devils' aren't an NBC favorite, I understand that Gary Bettman personally dislikes the Devils' organization. Still, there's a league custom that "every team gets a representitive". Heck, that's why Carey $@*%ing Price got named an All-Star -- if you look at his numbers he isn't even in the top half of NHL goaltenders this year, but Montreal had to have a representitive (and Raphael Diaz was only added when Adam Larsson pulled out with an injury). Look at some of the other guys who were named "All Stars" this season -- Dan Girardi, Logan Couture, Jason Pominville. Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek (fan voting, admittedly, but the ability to stuff the ballot box distorts things and neither guy deserves to be there over a bunch of other players from other teams).
If you want to abolish the "every team must be represented" rule, fine. But come out and say it, instead of screwing over two teams that deserved to be represented. You could have taken a Devil and justified it over some of the fourth and fifth players from other teams who made it. Same for Winnipeg -- Evander Kane belongs in Ottawa this weekend. There are teams who were given a rookie as a throwaway and didn't get a player into the real game.