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Travis Zajac


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#1 Easy Parise

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 04:40 PM

All the talk about Parise's UFA and Zajac's injury has kind of pushed back discussion of our ex #1 center. Well, after next season his contract is up and he'll be free to roam the plains of free agency. Do you guys think we'll make a solid effort toward retaining him? His current contract is a 3.8 hit, but we're paying him 4.8 a year currently. There was a time when he was our only true center, but elias and henrique have been filling in just fine. Thoughts?



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#2 Onddeck

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 04:43 PM

i feel like the real issue here is seeing how he can play after his injury. that will determine a lot and dont expect a contract extension untill a while after he gets back on the ice.
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#3 Devilsfan118

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:02 PM

Prediction:

He has a fantastic year next year, and demands a sh!t ton of money :giggle:
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#4 Zubie#8

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:27 PM

Prediction:

He has a fantastic year next year, and demands a sh!t ton of money :giggle:

Then settles for a reasonable amount :cheers:
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#5 Daniel

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:04 PM

Have a feeling someone will overpay for him.
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#6 pattyelias

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:19 PM

Prediction:

He has a fantastic year next year, and demands a sh!t ton of money :giggle:


if he gets to play with kovy or parise
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#7 Triumph

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:38 PM

Have a feeling someone will overpay for him.


:rolleyes:

Zajac had an off-year and now has a lost year. If he comes back at 100%, there's almost no way he gets overpaid, because he was an excellent player. The Devils should do everything they can to keep him.
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#8 Daniel

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 09:54 PM

:rolleyes:

Zajac had an off-year and now has a lost year. If he comes back at 100%, there's almost no way he gets overpaid, because he was an excellent player. The Devils should do everything they can to keep him.


Man are you a contrarian. You're lukewarm about players like Parise and Kovy, but the team must do everything to keep Zajac? Or, Kovy is, your words, "not very good," but Zajac was (or did you mean is?) an "excellent" player.

Zajac's a good player, and he'll make the Devils better when he gets back and gets the rust off. But last time I checked, we're comfortably in the playoffs with him for all intents and purposes having missed the entire season. (And don't give the silly retort that the Penguins have been good without Crosby so he must not be particularly important).

Assuming he returns to what he was and that he doesn't have a breakout year of epic proportions, the most I would give him would be five years $23 million. I see a team giving him Paul Martin money, perhaps more, which I wouldn't do, unless the team's finances are sound by then and there's a decent amount of cap space.
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#9 Triumph

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 11:48 PM

Man are you a contrarian. You're lukewarm about players like Parise and Kovy, but the team must do everything to keep Zajac? Or, Kovy is, your words, "not very good," but Zajac was (or did you mean is?) an "excellent" player.


I did not say that Kovalchuk is not very good. He's 'not THAT good', where 'that good' means 'elite'. He's not an elite player in terms of value, and I stand by that.

I've said before that I think Zajac is a better player than Kovalchuk and I stand by that, too. I did mean 'was', however, because I don't know for sure that Zajac will recover 100% from this injury. But before his injury, Zajac was an elite defensive center with some offensive ability.

Zajac's a good player, and he'll make the Devils better when he gets back and gets the rust off. But last time I checked, we're comfortably in the playoffs with him for all intents and purposes having missed the entire season. (And don't give the silly retort that the Penguins have been good without Crosby so he must not be particularly important).


No one expected Henrique to perform how he's performed this year. He's replaced at least half of what could've been expected out of Zajac - he's been an excellent penalty killer, he's taken a single minor penalty, and he's added some timely goals. Everyone was convinced by his first 40 games that he belongs in an NHL top 6, but I wasn't, and he's showing why that's not a foregone conclusion with his second half swoon. So we can't go writing him in as a top 6 player next year, especially not with how impressive Josefson has been for the last month.

Hockey is a team sport filled with chance. Like you said, the Penguins lost Crosby for most of two seasons and have still been a playoff team, because they're just that good a team. The Devils lost Paul Martin for most of a season, and Andy Greene steps up to replace him adequately, and shootout luck + power play luck covers up for the rest. Zajac goes down, but shootout luck has covered up for a lot of what he brings to the table.

I think I valued Zajac at around a 3-4 win a year player.

Assuming he returns to what he was and that he doesn't have a breakout year of epic proportions, the most I would give him would be five years $23 million. I see a team giving him Paul Martin money, perhaps more, which I wouldn't do, unless the team's finances are sound by then and there's a decent amount of cap space.


Cap space is not an issue for this team going forward, at all, so we can just put that away. Mikhail Grabovski just got 5.5 million per year. I'd give a healthy Zajac that and call it a win, and I'd be thrilled with 4.5M per season. There's no centers in the organization going forward besides Josefson and Henrique, and a ton of NHL centers are locked up for a real long time - once you lose one, it's hard to get one. The best guy available this year is Olli Jokinen. Now that injury and poor shooting luck have perhaps masked Zajac's true value, it's an even better time to buy low.
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#10 overtime98

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:33 AM

Travis Zajac will come back to be our #1 center again. He is THAT good.
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#11 sundstrom

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:24 AM

most know i've been high on zajac forever - even moreso than triumph.

at the time that it was signed, i felt mikko koivu's contract (7/42.5) was going to be what zajac shot for. losing this year has hurt his value so he's going to need next year as a prove it year. lou has proven that he's not going to negotiate with anyone midseason and he's not going to extend zajac at a big number without seeing what he can do next year so it's very very likely he reaches 7/1/13 as UFA.

if lou could get zajac signed this offseason to an extension that is grabovski's deal, i would be elated.
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#12 ATLL765

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 02:49 PM

most know i've been high on zajac forever - even moreso than triumph.

at the time that it was signed, i felt mikko koivu's contract (7/42.5) was going to be what zajac shot for. losing this year has hurt his value so he's going to need next year as a prove it year. lou has proven that he's not going to negotiate with anyone midseason and he's not going to extend zajac at a big number without seeing what he can do next year so it's very very likely he reaches 7/1/13 as UFA.

if lou could get zajac signed this offseason to an extension that is grabovski's deal, i would be elated.


I really like Koivu and I know he does a lot of things that don't show up on the stat sheets, but I don't think he's worth what he got. I think Koivu was more of a $5.5M/year guy. Zajac was good before getting hurt, but he's never hit 70 points before like Koivu has while playing other teams top lines and Grabovski at $5.5M/year is way too much for him. I see Zajac, especially after a down year and this year, getting more like $4-4.5M/year, even if he has a solid year in 12-13.
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#13 Quinn01

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 04:49 PM

He will have a slamming year next year and come back to being one of the most underrated centers in the league.
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#14 ScoreMoreThan3

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:00 PM

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Martin Brodeur will start in net for Devils Friday vs. Toronto. Travis Zajac won't play Friday.
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#15 sundstrom

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:10 PM

i would target tuesday vs the hawks. that gives him two morning skates and at least one practice.
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#16 coldply123

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:36 PM

Agree wholeheartedly with what Tri said on Zajac and also on the centers around the league. Some team would pay a lot for Zajac based on the scarcity of his skillsets alone in the league and on the market.

Anyone who doesn't notice the Devils miss Zajac is out of their mind. Zajac's abilities as a defensive center are not valued enough by many on this board. While Zubrus and Elias have had instances of trying to play that role, neither has done well as neither really are that kind of player. Devils also miss Zajac's abilities in the faceoff circle and I'm not sure how much longer I want to see Clarkson lose a faceoff in the offensive zone. We've been getting killed game in and game out in that area, especially in key situations. A few teams have even picked up on this and had no problem getting quick draws to a defenseman to snap a shot off (just had a goal on us like that in the past week).

I would wait though before trying to sign Zajac until we can see how that leg responds over a period of time.
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#17 Quinn01

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:49 PM

Travis Zajac may make his second season debut on Friday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Prudential Center.
Zajac, who returned to practice on March 18, practiced full with the team again this morning and earned a strong review from coach Pete DeBoer.

``Real close,'' DeBoer said when asked when Zajac might be ready. ``I would term it day-to-day now. We'll see how he is tomorrow morning. He got through a whole practice today. He did a lot of battling, a lot of system work.

``That's as close to a game as we can get him as far as the situation. He handled it well. ... He has to feel right mentally. Physically, I think he's very close. He just has to get it moving. We'll talk to him in the morning and see how he feels.''


http://www.nj.com/de...ractice_10.html
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#18 ScoreMoreThan3

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 01:33 PM

RT @DailyFaceoff RT: @TGfireandice Travis Zajac said "the plan" is for him to play Sunday in Pittsburgh.
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