I've been doing some thinking, and I have a few ideas on how the Devils can assist in opening up cap space, while acquiring some potentially top offensive prospects in exchange for some of our veterans, and defensive prospects.
We all know that the Devils are in a small bind in trying to sign Zach Parise to a long term contract due to the cap space we have to deal with. Several options that we have include putting Bryce Salvador on LITR, in order to free up his cap space, which would be more than enough to accomplish our goal. There is also the option of trading at least one of a selection of players in order to free up that precious cap space. This option has been discussed numerous times, and speculates on trading players like Rolston, or Zubrus. They both add important qualities to the team, and trading either one of them as a salary dump could be detrimental to the team. Also acknowledging that if such a trade is a salary dump, we may have to throw in a defensive prospect in order to make it happen.
Now, I will raise the possiblity of going through with a trade, partially as a salary dump, but to instead pick up some good offensive prospects. We all know that our system is just about overflowwing with defensive prospects, I'll list those from the top 20 prospects list just to make the point again:
- Adam Larsson, D
- Jon Merrill, D
- Alexander Urbom, D
- Brandon Burlon, D
- Eric Gelinas, D
- Matt Taormina, D
- Maxim Noreau, D
- Dan Kelly, D
- Joe Sova, D
- Curtis Gedig, D
- Corbin McPherson, D
On that list, there are only 5 offensive prospects on that list compared to 11 defensive prospects. Now I would say that the top 7 of the defensive prospects on this list are NHL Caliber at this point. For this next season, we are expecting Adam Henrique to make the jump to the NHL. Other than that, we don't have many guys at all. We of course do have the prospects we drafted in this draft, but it will be a few years until they are NHL ready.
I've been looking through the NHL's top prospects list as listed on http://www.hockeysfuture.com/hockey_top_50_prospects/, trying to figure out if there is a team that happens to have good offensive prospects, and in need of defense, as well as at the NHL level. Alas, I haven't really figured anything that strikes me as a great potential trade. This is were I would like everyone's opinions on this. Do you think that we should trade some of our veteran players packaged with prospects for offensive prospects or promising players with low cap hits? If so, which prospects do you think we should be willing to trade, and which veterans? Rolston, Zubrus? Should we consider trading a veteran defenseman? It could be a benefit for the long term. Salvador and White are entering the last years of their contracts, would it be best to call up a young defenseman in order trade for a prospect or future pick? I would like to know what you think.
Personally, I will add, I like the fact that our organization has mainly been home-grown, and would like to keep it that way, but the fact that we lack depth in forwards in the minors should be looked at.