Okay, so here are the moves Lou made starting July 1st 2007, up until June of 2008. Let me know what you guys think, and please let me know if I miss anything.
Salary Cap: 50.3 Million
Free Agents Signed:
Dainius Zubrus (6 years for 20.4 million (cap hit of 3.4 million))
Karel Rachunek (1 year for 1.4 million)
Kevin Weeekes (2 years for 1.375 million (cap hit of .6875 million))
Vitaly Vishnevski (3 years for 5.4 million (cap hit of 1.8 million))
Noah Clarke (1 year for .475 million)
Arron Asahm (1 year for .700 million)
Mike Mottau (terms unknown)
Free Agents Resigned:
Mike Rupp (2 years, terms unkown)
Paul Martin (3 years for 11.5 million (cap hit of 3.833333))
Zach Parise (4 years for 12.5 million (cap hits of 3.125 million))
Sergei Brylin (1 years, terms unknown but I think around 1.5 million)
Free Agents Lost:
Brian Rafalski to Detroit (5 years for 30 million (cap hit of 6 million))
Scott Gomez New York (7 years for 51.1 million (cap hit of 7.3 million))
Brad Lukowich Tampa Bay (3 years for 4.7 million (cap hit of 1.566667 million))
Scott Clemmensen Toronto (Terms Unknown)
Traded Cam Janssen
Received from St. Lous Bryce Salvador
Analysis: Overall I think Lou did worse than last year, but he still did a decent job. While he has become a fan favorite, and I love the way Kevin Clark announces his name, I think the Zubrus signing has been a poor one. The 2008-2009 season particularly aggravates me. Once Brian Rolston went down with an ankle sprain Zubrus played the majority of the year on a line with Brian Gionta and Patrik Elias. How can someone center two forty goal scorers and still only muster 25 assists? Granted that year Patrik had 31 and Brian had 20, but thats still considerably more than 25. I think because the teams offense as a whole was better than it had been in previous years, he kind flew under everyones radar. Recently people have said they dont want him to be traded because he works hard and does good work along the boards, but only time will tell what will happen with him. On the other hand, Lou needed someone who could play center on one of the teams top lines after the loss of Scott Gomez. The free agent market was pretty dry that summer, and he obviously did not want to pay big bucks for someone or else he wouldve kept Gomez. The Devils had cap troubles in 2006-2007, so Lou did not want to put himself into that situation again. Gomez maid 5 million the previous season, and Zubrus has a cap hit of 3.4. Thas a reduction of 1.6 million to the payroll. which overall helps a great deal in regards to cap management. Zubrus was also coming off of 2 season where he had at least 57 points in each, so Lou felt he was getting a decent player. While I dislike the production, I do agree with the signing. The team had no real #1 center, as Travis Zajac was only entering his second year in which he would struggle a great deal.
I also like the choice not to resign Scott Gomez. while I felt he did good in New Jersey, I also felt he did not deserve the money he is currently being paid. Butch Goring said last year that Scott Gomez was the biggest turkey in the NHL because all he gobbles up is money. I would agree with that, especially considering his production since he left the Devils. I liked the Weekes signing, at least at the time of it. The idea was to get a goalie who could give Marty more rest, and Brent Sutter did attempt this when the season first started, but over the coarse of the year things reverted back to normal with Marty playing every game. I would have to say that letting Rafalski go was the worst decision Lou made. He failed to replace him with another solid 2 way defender, Vishnevski was an okay stay at home guy, but he ended up going to Russia after one year, so he must not have been that good, and Rachunek wasent even playing at the end of the year.
I think the best resigning was Zach Parise. Not only does it have a good cap hit, but it ends with Zach still being an RFA, so the Devils will have all the negotiating power when it expires. The Martin contract was good as well, and I liked the fact the Paul chose to give up two potential years of being a UFA to stay with the team.
The trade was a no-brainder for the devils. They lost a guy who can fight, and gained a solid stay at home guy. The Devils had plenty of guys who brought toughness to the team with Asham, Rupp, and Clarkson. They would more than make up for the loss of Janssen.
In conclusion, decent job, definitely not his best work though. Sound off below, and the next year will be up in a day or two.