For better or mostly worse, the New Jersey Devils had two goons in the organization that could have made the team this season: Cam Janssen and Krystofer Barch. As Tom Gulitti reported earlier this morning, the Devils sent Krys Barch and a seventh round pick in 2015 to the Florida Panthers for a sixth round pick in 2014 and a forward named Scott Timmins. The minor move not only reduces the number of "enforcers" on the team but there are now 27 left on the New Jersey Devils roster. One of the five cuts they had to make by Monday was essentially made with this deal.
Long-time readers know I'm not a fan of the face puncher who does little more than punch faces. In fact, I had one song running through my head when I found about the news.
While Barch in 2013 was way better than Cam Janssen, he still didn't bring much to the table. His role was to "intimidate" and that did not and does not win games. He was simply hard to watch when he played in this preseason. His sole highlight was kindly taking off Brett Gallant's helment before they fought (and erased a potential 3-on-2 for the Devils). Many fans weren't happy with Peter DeBoer talking him up a few weeks ago; but it really did turn out to be a molehill. This action spoke louder than what any member of the organization could say to the press.
And I really like this action. Dumping Barch off means there's one less goon to drag down New Jersey or Albany in games that matter and opens up an active roster spot. Given that the Devils have preferred to keep one goon around, it appears the job is Janssen's. I'm not a fan of that, but Janssen shouldn't get too comfortable. Lou has stated he's not comfortable with demoting someone on a one-way contract to the AHL. Janssen is one of the few Devils left with New Jersey that has a two-way deal. He very well could be cut very soon. I think Janssen would absolutely clear waivers since he doesn't do much more than fight and I question whether he's even good at that. (And if he doesn't clear waivers, then it may be a blessing in disguise for New Jersey and Albany.) As I understand it, there are no more re-entry waivers so the Devils could elect to bring him back if they feel they need for a fighter for a rivalry game. In other words, this trade makes it more possible that the Devils could have four lines of hockey players that can do things to win games with scratched hockey players that can do things to win games. Yes, 12 actual forwards with possibly two extra actual forwards on the active roster. This can be done. It should be done. We'll see if it will be done.
The return from the deal is minor as one may expect from a deal where Barch is the centerpiece. Timmins is a little on the small side and his production after three seasons in the AHL isn't anything to write home about. Not that Albany needs another forward who can cap out in the 20-30 point range, but better him than an "enforcer." He did get a few games with the Panthers so perhaps he's got some skills on the back end. But I wouldn't expect a whole much from him. The 2014 sixth round won't likely to turn out to be much so it's just a nice little throw in. Overall, the big benefit for the Devils in this trade is that they got rid of Barch and have one less roster move to make by 3 PM on Monday.