Earlier today, the New Jersey Devils re-signed forward David Clarkson to a 3 year deal worth $8 million dollars, with a cap hit of $2.66 mil/year. Clarkson received a pretty big pay day despite missing most of the season with a leg injury sustained after blocking a Zdeno Chara slapshot. Earlier this month, I wrote a piece for my audition post on David Clarkson and how much he would cost. From my post, I concluded he would receive a 4 year deal worth $8.6 million. My guess was quite close, as i was off by about $600 000, and one year. If Clarkson was signed to a similar offer sheet by another team and Lou didn't match, the Devils would've recieved a 2nd round pick as compensation. While I would've liked another year, I think this is deal is a good deal. Why? Follow me after the jump to hear why.For starters, the Devils are probably going to get more bang for the buck than they would if they signed Clarkson to a more expensive contract. Just look at Zach Parise and Travis Zajac. Lou was able to sign both to relatively cheap contracts cap hit wise (Parise's cap hit is $3.125 million/year, and Zajac's cap hit is $3.888 million/year). Alot of teams would love to have a 30+ goal scorer signed for about $3 mil/year, or an excellent two-way center for less than $4 mil/year. The Devils are reaping the rewards of having young players signed for cheap. Clarkson can be one of those players if he's able to break out like most experts and bloggers expected him to last season. I think he can, and he's got the tools to do so. Lamoriello signing him to a contract bigger than most of us expected shows that the organization is behind him. Clarkson is happy about the deal, and he's ready for whatever role John Maclean will put him into.
With this signing in Mind, the Devils now have 17 players under contract for the 2010-11 season: 12 forwards, 4 defensemen and 1 goaltender with $11.33 million in cap space. With the news of Andrew Peters and Jay Pandolfo being waived and likely bought out, the Devils will have approximately $13.33 million in cap space for Paul Martin or a top pairing defenseman, a depth defenseman, a checking line center, a back up goalie, and two depth forwards, one of those said depth forwards likely being Rod Pelley. Outside of Martin/ top pairing defenseman, I think Lou will be able to get what the Devils need for the upcoming season. Now for about 17 hours of hoping Lou can hash out a deal with Paul Martin.