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Devils Sign McGillis, Malakhov, Rafalski

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Agreed Bruins,

Our defense is solid and deep. Lou really made us better, especially if the Captain is n't coming back.

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I can live with these players, but I do think we overpaid a little. Some money was wasted that could have been spent to get us a new winger. Like most have said though, lou prolly ain't dunn.

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Devils sign Rafalski, Malakhov, McGillis

Brian Rafalski

Canadian Press

8/4/2005 1:41:23 PM

The New Jersey Devils signed three defencemen Thursday to replace the Norris Trophy winner they lost in the morning.

After Scott Niedermayer agreed to a four-year deal worth $27 million US with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, the Devils re-signed Brian Rafalski to an $8.4-million, two-year deal and also signed former Devils player Vladimir Malakhov to a $7.2-million, two-year deal, and also inked Dan McGillis to a $4.4-million, two-year deal.

All three unrestricted free agents are decent players, particularly Rafalski, but none plays to the level of Niedermayer, who spent parts of 13 seasons with New Jersey and won three Stanley Cup titles.

"Scotty is in another uniform and we have to get the people that we have ready to play in our uniforms," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said.

Niedermayer was offered over a million dollars more per season, and the Devils were willing to stretch to a fifth season to bring back the NHL's top defenceman during the 2003-04 season. But the lure of heading home to the West Coast and joining his brother Rob on the Ducks was more than the Devils could provide.

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"We're not going to sit there and brood over it," Lamoriello said. "We made a substantial offer and did tie up a considerable amount of money. We had another plan should that not work out and we feel extremely comfortable with our defense right now."

That will be anchored by Rafalski, who will earn $4.2 million in each of the next two seasons.

Rafalski, who will be 32 once the season starts, is cut out of the same offensive-minded mold as Niedermayer. In 377 NHL games, all with New Jersey, the Dearborn, Mich., native has 30 goals - 13 on the power play - and 177 assists.

He takes his offence up a notch in the playoffs, where he has tallied 14 goals and 29 assists in 82 games. Rafalski has been on two Cup-winning teams.

"I can't do what Nieder does," said Rafalski, who agreed to his deal Thursday morning. "I do what I do. Hopefully, that will benefit me. I've always been able to do things at a very high level. As far as pressure goes, I tend to do better under pressure."

Malakhov is 36 and heading into his 13th NHL season. He will be the ninth player to be reacquired and play for the Devils.

He was originally acquired by New Jersey from Montreal at the 2000 trading deadline, and was a member of the Devils' championship team that season. Malakhov has played in 683 regular-season games with the New York Islanders, Montreal, New Jersey, the New York Rangers, and Philadelphia, and has posted 82 goals and 255 assists.

He will make $3.6 million per season.

The 33-year-old McGillis, who will be entering his ninth NHL season, has 56 goals and 176 assists in 607 NHL games with Edmonton, Philadelphia, San Jose, and Boston. McGillis recorded a career-high 14 goals and 49 points in 2000-01 with the Flyers.

With Hall of Fame defenceman Larry Robinson now behind the Devils bench, New Jersey is expected to continue to put a strong defensive team in front of goalie Martin Brodeur.

"This addresses all types of situations on our defence," Lamoriello said. "Probably the most excited I've heard Larry Robinson in a long time is when I told him the addition of these three players.

"Malakhov just simply excelled under Larry and they had a great relationship, and Brian he knows, and McGillis played against us enough when he was in Philly so we know what he brings. That complemented with everyone else."

New Jersey will also have longtime Dallas Stars defenceman Richard Matvichuk on the back line. Matvichuk has been waiting over a year to pull on a Devils sweater after signing a four-year deal with New Jersey last summer before the NHL lockout wiped out the season.

The Devils are close to the $39-million salary cap, but they do have room for 41-year-old captain Scott Stevens should he decide to return to New Jersey following a head injury that limited him to 38 games in the 2003-04 season.

Many other top defencemen signed all across the NHL this week while the Devils waited on Niedermayer. But Lamoriello said he is perfectly pleased with the Plan B he put into place.

"No matter what and who was out there, if we didn't have Scott Niedermayer, I couldn't be more comfortable (than I am) with the type of people and players we have," Lamoriello said.

I figured it was too good to be true. :rant:

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Wow im gone for a few hours and I had to go through all 13 pages *takes a breath* ok I think Manta said it best. Vlad is going to play well under Larry like he did in 00. Im a lot more happier now about this lineup than I was this morning. If we could get one scoring forward I think we have a pretty damn good team AND ONLY 62 DAYS UNTIL THE PUCK DROPS WOOOOO!!!

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At the end of the day, i think the Devils are better off now than when they started. They avoided a long term, big money contract, and signed 3 guys each for two years. 2 years from now, there will be a huge opening for money. I expect a lot of one year deals as well this season which I hope allows for some freeing up for next year. I think Lou has set us up well.

We still need some help upfront. Who knows maybe a trade here or there. Or a cheap signing.

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My bad guys, TSN orginally had 1.1 on their transactions page, and a few others picked up on it, then they chanced it back to undisclosed. My fault

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Yeah I saw the TSN total too, guess they got the $2.2 mixed up as a two-year total instead of each year's total :P

So they still overpaid for Malakhov, oh well. Maybe he'll at least play for Larry if there really is a mutual respect there.

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here is some interesting info that I stole from the HF board:


01-02 Phi 75 3:31 1:29 21:04

02-03 Phi 24 2:26 1:24 18:33

02-03 S.J. 37 4:10 1:31 21:53

02-03 Bos 10 2:19 2:23 21:15

03-04 Bos 80 2:15 1:03 19:42


01-02 NYR 81 2:54 3:49 22:48

02-03 NYR 71 2:39 3:08 21:23

03-04 NYR 56 1:23 3:03 19:36

03-04 Phi 6 2:29 3:24 22:57


01-02 N.J. 76 3:07 0:35 22:08

02-03 N.J. 79 4:17 1:15 23:08

03-04 N.J. 69 3:48 2:30 22:45

these three guys have logged some serious ice time the last couple of years.

We have, however lost this:


01-02 N.J. 76 2:22 2:29 24:16

02-03 N.J. 81 3:56 2:17 24:29

03-04 N.J. 81 4:09 2:55 25:53

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yeah if the stories about the Devs offer are true, then he passed on > 1 million a year for 4 years, plus a 5th year at 7.8.

A total of ~13 million just to play with his brother Rob ....

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So its 4.2mil for rafi

3.6 mil for Malakov

and 2.2 mil for McGillis

seems like LL over paid... unless sportsnet is wrong that what i just saw..

even 3.6 for malakov is high, and rafi at 4.2 is high, but after losing Neids LL had to make the deals.... i guess

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I wonder how much higher the salaries actually are/seem to us? Lou used to give the players bonuses, for different achievements, which are no longer allowed, correct? That's money which the players have to get back somehow, so I guess he gives Rafalski the $$ now and that would include any potential bonuses, including the thank-you-for-holding-out-til-Nieds-left-us $$.

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