It's mid-August and the New Jersey Devils player contract roster has peaked. Actually, it's over. With a couple of signings in the past week, it doesn't seam like the Devils will be signing anyone else for the rest of the off-season, baring any unforeseen transaction. The last time ILWT discussed this, the Devils situation was nearing the limits, with the roster size and the cap ceiling.
In that span up until now, the Devils managed to trade away Brian Rolston and his $5+ million cap hit for one more season; sign Zach Parise for just one year, though with the intent to sign a long-term deal; buyout newly acquired Trent Hunter and long time Devils defenseman Colin White. This create enough space to finish the month up with signing goalie Maxime Clermont and defensman Peter Harrold.
Now, there is no salary cap problem, which is nice. The Devils do have some sort of budget as well, which isn't the greatest of things (unless it's to save for free agents next off-season?). The Devils are full roster-wise, which is what this post will be concentrating on. This is a breakdown of the Devils reserve list. Continue after the jump.
The Devils have 49 players signed to contracts, plus two more players that count against the list for a total of 51. The limit is 50, though there is one way the Devils can stay at 51 and not be violating the CBA. Here is Capgeek's page of the reserve list for the Devils. They have 48 listed, but Nathan Perkovich has apparently re-signed with the organization first reported in mid-July. The two players who are not signed and will be on other teams (not in the NHL) come this season are Alexander Vasyunov and Maxim Noreau, whom were given qualifying offers, but opted to play in Russia and Europe respectively. If Adam Larsson plays less than 10 games in the NHL this season, his contract slides and he won't count towards the reserve list, putting the Devils at 50.
The Devils NHL roster seems to be finished. There's a lot of players fighting for the bottom 6 forward spots and filling out the 6th and 7th defensive spots of New Jersey's roster. There are just enough forwards for Albany's line-up with ample amount of defensemen.
The New Jersey Devils Potential 23-Man Line-up
There are tons of options for the line-up, this is just my guess. It all depends on training camp and preseason games, then head coach Peter DeBoer and Lou Lamoriello will sit down and shape the roster accordingly ready for October 8th. I think this roster is a likely scenario based on the second half of last season, certain contract implications, and potential.
As I said before, if Larsson doesn't play 10 or more games in the NHL, he will not count towards the 50-man reserve list. I don't think a business decision for such a high draft pick with such potential should trump an on-ice decision. If Larsson has a great camp and has shown to be one of the 7 best defenders the Devils have, he should play in New Jersey. Even if injuries happen, Larsson would be a top option for a replacement (if it's for more than 10 games). Since Lou had the chance the let Jacob Josefson's contract slide last season after he came back from wrist surgery, he lets his players play where he and the coaches see fit, no matter what business implications are created for the future.
I like the versatility in this line-up. There are three capable lines of scoring, with the 4th line being anywhere between a goon line or a defensive line. The defense has a solid mix of shut down guys, puck movers, and youth potential.
The Albany Devils Potenial Roster and the Rest
|Mike Hoeffel||Adam Henrique||Mike Sislo|
|J.S. Berube||Tim Sestito||Stephan Gionta|
|Kory Nagy||Steven Zalewski||Nathan Perkovich|
|Chad Wiseman||Brad Mills|
|Stephan Veilleux||Matt Anderson|
This isn't my Albany line-up guess. The players are ranked in order of their NHL contract amount. There's enough players to get a roster and have one scratch per game. Injuries happen, people get banged up and miss a game here and there.The organization needs a couple more forwards (which they probably will do, they just won't have an NHL contract thus not count against the reserve list).
If you read Kevin's post from yesterday, then you are aware of the shortage of right wingers in the system. With prospects like Josefson and Henrique getting their first taste of the pros (non-European pros) last season, it seems the depth at center at both levels isn't a problem as it once was a couple years back. There is a hefty amount of veteran presence as well (6 of these forwards are 26 and older). I don't think any of these players have a real good chance of cracking the NHL roster, baring a horrible camp from someone like Zharkov or Pelley (or even Palmieri), or a couple major injuries (To every deity - Please No).
|Brandon Burlon||Joe Sova|
|Eric Gelinas||Peter Harrold|
|Alex Urbom||Matt Taormina|
|Dan Kelly||Harry Young|
|Matt Corrente||Jay Leach|
The Devils have enough defenders for three teams...too bad they only have two. The players are listed just like the forwards (left column then right column).
Burlon, Gelinas, and Sova will be playing in the pros for the first time, so expect them in Albany. Urbom, Corrente, Taromina, and even vet Jay Leach have the ability to crack the NHL line-up (watch out Fayne, Fraser, and Larsson). Everyone else is pretty much brick faced in in Albany. If the Devils were to be active anytime for the rest of the off-season, I would expect a transaction from this group. Trading a solid defensive prospect (Corrente, Young, Sova) for a right winger (even a young AHLer) would be ideal.
As for the goalies, more youth was the answer this off-season. MIke McKenna is gone, Jeff Frazee was given two more years to prove himself worthy. The Devils signed Kincaid, a Union College sophomore who was un-drafted, to an ELC. Look to see him in Albany. The recent news was Clermont, who was signed to an ELC. He can play in both the minors and the AHL this season and can be called and recalled when needed. With Hedberg and Brodeur at the top 2 spots, I don't see these three players cracking the line-up in New Jersey.
So the Devils are at 49 signed players - 5 goalies, 17 defenders, and 27 forwards. Two more players count against the 50-man reserve list becuase they were given qualifying offers. New Jersey's line-up is full and Albany's may still need to tweaked a bit (possibly by players with just an AHL contract) to have enough depth. In the minors, teams can also only play so many "veteran" players, and the organization will have to work that out too.
Does Lou and Co. have anymore moves? Will we see a trade in the future, saying goodbye to one of out many defensemen? Discuss the organizational roster, your likes, dislikes, what you want done to finish the off-season. Thanks for reading.