Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Ex-Devils Could Be Coming Home To Jersey

The Devils already signed former Devils Bobby Holik and Brian Rolston in the off-season and many joked that who was next, Claude Lemieux. Well Claude will not be returning to the Devils but the 43 year old seems poised to sign a one-year two way contract with the San Jose Sharks. Lemieux is currently playing for the San Jose farm club the Worcester Sharks and has 2G-4A in 14 games.

Of the realistic options for the Devils, Brendan Shanahan has been looking for a team all year long. The Rangers felt they did not need him or his leadership, they thought Scott Gomez was someone who could step in and fill that role. Oh boy, were they wrong. The Flyers tried to sign him in November, but they could not clear the cap space. Other teams like the Blues have been interested, but Shanahan has made it clear he wants to stay near the New York area. So that leaves the Devils?

The Devils said they had no interest or do they? Lou always keeps everything tight to the vest so you never know and he never rushes into something, but adding Shanahan would not hurt the team just help. His leadership and power-play expertise is something any team would seem to want. You could easily see him slide into the third line with Rolston and Holik, freeing up Clarkson, Madden or Pandolfo for a trade for a defenseman.

Another ex-Devil of interest could be the Islanders Bill Guerin. The Islanders are going nowhere fast and are looking to unload Guerin and Doug Weight for draft picks. The only problem is that their cap hit is 4.5 million dollars each, so they may be hard to move as not many teams have the cap space to add that amount of money. The Devils could, but would need to make the move right around the trading deadline. In return the Devils would not have to give-up much in return, so keep you eyes and ears open in regard to these two players.

But what the Devils need the most is a top four defenseman who can play the point on the power-play and kill penalties. Well not too many ex-Devils out there on the trade market that fit this role. The top defenseman that could be on the move and fit what the Devils need are Mattheui Schneider (ATL), Jay Bouwmeester (FLA) and Thomas Kaberle (TOR). All three come with high price tags, but Schneider, Bouwmeester will be free agents at the end of the year.

The one ex-Devil defenseman that could be an option is Jason Smith. The Ottawa Senators are desperate to make a trade and Smith brings a strong defensive presence, a leadership quality and a cheaper price tag at 2.5M a year. And he is signed through next year as well.

We will see what happens but wouldn't mind bringing back some more ex-devils that could help. Devils start a two game road trip in St. Louis tonight and a great New Year's for me watching the Devils beat the Dallas Stars and then see the ball drop.

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