With all of the frenzy surrounding this season's trade deadline, eight teams decided not to jump in on the fun. One of those teams was your New Jersey Devils.
While this may be a concern for some fans, as the team does have some issues to address, I feel that the best move the Devs could make was to not make any at all.
Just prior to the deadline, the Devils traded for veteran D-man Niclas Havelid in exchange for promising rookie Anssi Salmela. My initial reaction was that I was in the middle of the road regarding that trade, and I still am for now. Havelid, while very established and was impressive on an awful Atlanta squad, is more of a stay-at-home type blueliner. If I understood correctly, the Devils were in serious need for a defenseman who is adept a moving the puck and offensive minded. Granted, Salmela still has some skills to work on, but he was that. A puck-moving D-man. With him gone, the team now has stay-at-home types on defense. Regardless of what I think, Lou found his man before the deadline. And like every Devils fan, I trust Lou because he knows the ins and outs of the business that is professional hockey.
And that's not the only reason why I believe the Devils stood pat on this trade deadline.
Obvious fandom aside, the New Jersey Devils are the hottest team in the NHL right now. Parise is on pace for 50 and making a strong push for the Hart. Brodeur is playing as if that elbow injury never existed. Zajac is having a bounce-back year. After criticisms over his deserving of the captaincy, Langenbrunner is getting hotter and hotter with each passing game. Elias feels rejuvenated and on pace to either match or better his 2000-01 season. Oduya is continuing to impress. Salvador is proving that his acquisition last year was very smart in Lou's case. Speaking of that trade, Clarkson is making everyone forget Cam. Weekes and Clemmensen made this possible. Coach Sutter is becoming a viable Jack Adams candidate. Lou is, well, Lou. And everyone else is doing their part to keep the hotness the way it is.
So all in all, outside of getting Havelid, why do anything else? This team, even if it is the way it is, is allowing Devils fans such as myself to confidently say that they will be making the noise come playoff time.