Yann Danis Signed Near-Minimum Deal & The Larger Meaning of the Devils Prospect Camp

First and foremost, contract information regarding goaltender Yann Danis has finally been confirmed via TSN's 2009 NHL Free Agent Tracker.  In case the link becomes unreliable, I've taken a picture.

Danis_contract_tsn

$550,000 is just above the minimum and I think a 1 year deal is a perfectly fine contract.  He's still relatively new to the league and will have to prove himself to a point.  If Danis does well, then the Devils can pursue a longer deal worth more money. If he doesn't, then it's not a big strain on the salary cap and he'll be gone next summer.

Gulitti is basically the source on all things related to the on-going Devils prospect development camp.  Yesterday, Gulitti confirmed why certain prospects aren't at the camp.

  • Lowell winger Nicklas Bergfors is out with "personal" reasons.
  • Former HIFK Helsinki winger Ilkka Pikkarainen is 28 and not technically someone you'd call a prospect, but he's not at camp because he has yet to get a work visa.
  • University of Michigan center David Wohlberg is injured.
  • Patrick Davis will remain in the Devils organization, but he was not invited.

Also, he has transcribed some conversations with Devils first round pick Jacob Josefson and goaltending prospect Jeff Frazee amid the big coaching announcment.  Frazee doesn't come right out and say it, but from what he told Gulitti, you can infer that Frazee wants that #2 spot.  The most interesting item from Gulitti's talk with Josefson is Josefson coming right out and saying he wants to be over here ASAP.  Josefson has another year on his contract with Djurgardens, so expect him to come over in 2010.

2010 will definitely be an interesting summer, and not just because Mattias Tedenby told Gulitti today that he wants to come to North America after next season too (aside: Gulitti has video from today's scrimmage. Oooh.)  You see, the youth movement isn't going to be all that apparent next season.  The Devils are set in goaltender with Brodeur and Danis; last season's top 6 are all back for another season; and the holes the Devils have at forward are largely on the bottom two lines.    As some players (e.g. Patrik Elias, Jamie Langenbrunner) continue to get older, we're going to see more spots open up by next summer, the summer of 2011, and so on.  

That's why I think that Lou is planning on giving the prospects more opportunities is so important.   Not just because good prospects who can contribute now can help keep the Devils competitve under a falling salary cap.   But because it is a contingency plan.  The Devils simply do not rebuild in the traditional sense of being a bad team, drafting hot prospects, and building upward.  No, they reload their rosters with talent.  This time, Lou's going with relatively cheap.  The process of determining of who will be a legitimate option now (Pelley), in the near future (Corrente), or a few years from now (Josefson, Tedenby) is happening right now at this camp.   So while the scrimmage results may not count all that much (but here's the Devils' site report on today's activities), the Devils organization is using them and drills and other tasks at this camp to see who is/will be worthy of a spot on the New Jersey Devils' roster for now and in the near future.

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