With this trade the Devils have received a draft pick. They also get a checking line center for the next two seasons for a cap hit of 1.1 million. I think this helps them fill a need they have had since John Madden left two years ago. It does however also take up more cap space for the next two years that would have previously been open. After the jump I will explain what I think this means.
Resigning Zach Parise should be the Devils biggest concern this offseason, but other players will need to be retained as well. Lou said he did not trade Andy Greene because Andy expressed his desire to stay. This telle me that Andy would like to resign with the organization as well. Tom wrote a great article saying how Andy will command somewhere between two and three million per year. If he's so passionate about staying with the team, maybe he'll take a discount and stay for 2 per season. But lets just say he gets 3 million per season. Zach Parises cap hit will double, and could go up to just under 7 million.(i dont see lou giving a contract with a cap hit of 7 or higher) That will take up about 6.135 million ( i added 2.26 to andys current salary and 3.875 for zach current salary) The devils will have just under 7.3 million in cap space so if they resign these players they will have about 1.2 million left to resign players and sign free agents. Remember johan hedberg will be a free agent so it will cost money to keep him or replace him. Two side notes, the cap may go up, and the remaining free agents for the devils do not have considerable cap hits so they probably wont require huge raises given their current roles on the team.(guys like mark fraser and taormina) Even so, 1.3 million is not nearly enough to fill out a roster. if the cap goes up 3 million it still wouldnt be enough since the devils will be in a similar situation they were in at the begining of this season. So what does all this mean?
Somebody will be traded or bought out between now and next season. The question is who. Ive been saying leading up to the trade deadline that I thought it would be beneficial for the Devils to trade someone with a contract beyond this season. They did not. The two people Ive pointed to as prime candidates are David Clarkson and Dainius Zubrus. I think Zubrus will stay put, but Clarkson could be moved in a draft day type deal. It would clear 2.67 million not only next year, but the season after as well. This would more than offset the salary taken on by steckel. I think that with a move like this coupled with an increase to the salaray cup the devils would be able to fill out there roster and have some breathing room. Another option is buying someone out. Rolston is the obvious candidate here. Brian would get 2/3 of his salary over two years. That would be 3.33 or about 1.65 per season. That would save 3.35 for next season, but it would take up 1.65 for the season after that so its a two way street. One final point i want to make is Bryce Salvador. Lou says he wont play this year and everything is status quo. If he does not recover and stays on ltir, 2.9 million will be freed in cap space. I hope bryce gets better, but it is something that needs to be though about. Based on the way things have transpired this season Im really not sure where Bryce fits in on this team.
So what says you? do you think a trade is coming during the summer? a buyout?