As the NHL trade deadline inches closer, I thought it might be a fun topic to discuss NJ contracts and whether or not they are negative or positive value in 2013-2014 based on... [insert your preferred metric here]. Obviously, point production, defensive prowess, Corsi #s, etc are on the table... or heck, just toss in your pure, unbridled opinion regardless of statistics. :-)
NEGATIVE - 40 point defensive centers are not worth nearly 6 million bucks in the 2013 cap. Not having a 1st line center who can produce is one of this team's biggest problems.
POSITIVE - has played less games than others this season, but it has always seemed to me that as Elias goes, so go the Devils. He's the true heart and soul of the team, and while his production has started to falter a little, he's still a great talent and one of the more creative playmakers on the team.
POSITIVE - this is based on a relatively small sample size, but Clowe has come on since his return from injury and is looking more and more like a player NJ can utilize. Certainly looks miles better than Clarkie in Toronto.
NEUTRAL - 4m isn't an awfully large cap hit, but as with Zajac, you run into a player type who is averaging .50 points per game, and you need more than that out of your 2nd line center.
Jagr 4m (2+2 bonus)
POSITIVE - love what Jagr has added just with his personality. oh, and he's leading the team in scoring.
POSITIVE - The guy looks like he's always in some dissociative trance, but hey, whatever works. He's scoring more goals than most. Point totals not impressive, but we need the goals, so a decent value at 3.5.
POSITIVE - i think this guy is all heart and NJ could use more players like him. 3.1 is a fair value for what he brings to the table.
POSITIVE - the guy obviously has a lot of talent, and a lot of potential to be inconsistent. but his contract his cheap and we need guys who can score. he's one of them.
NA - love Carter, but this kind of player seems to be a big positive value on a winning team, and seems to have no real value on a losing one.
NA - see Carter.
POSITIVE - ? Lokti fell off the map, when he was at first projected to challenge for a key spot. I think his contract is positive because he's young and full of potential, but we need more from him in the last 30 games if NJ is to have any chance of making the playoffs.
POSITIVE - I like what I've seen, but like all others, needs to finish, needs to put up points. Blends in on a team of guys who can't score.
DEBATABLE - probably gets too many minutes for his talent level, but also works his ass off most nights.
NEGATIVE - he's got more points than Carter or Gionta, but as a part of the "old guard," i think the value has to be stated as negative. he's one of so many devils with mid-range contracts (in the 3-4.5 million range), likely preventing us from signing higher impact players, or allowing youth to fully work its way into the lineup. he's an okay D-man, but his worth has passed him by in our system.
NEGATIVE - see Volchenkov
POSITIVE - Greeney has been great. really hope he's around for a while and can be a part of the next gen corps to tutor the youngster.
Zidlicky 4m (3+1 bonus)
POSITIVE - the guy brings offense where many do not, has had a very good year overall.
POSITIVE - very cheap D and would rather see him play over Sal/Volch any day of the week.
POSITIVE - love what Merrill has shown. if only NJ could ship out some anchors to ensure his full time spot.
POSITIVE - great season so far for Gelinas (albeit with some lows). Truly hoping we can complete the youth brigade movement by getting rid of Sal/Volch.
*Larsson 474k (ahl)
POSITIVE - needs to be re-integrated into the lineup and given ample minutes. he'll be around for a long while, just as soon as NJ can shed some contracts. good long term player.
NEGATIVE - for the simple reason that his presence is preventing the necessary transition... don't care what anyone says about wins... I don't think Schneider will be happy as a 1A-1B. If Brodeur intends to come back next year, it really has to be as a true backup. Schneider's handled everything fairly well, but I believe he'll be more comfortable once the team is his.
POSITIVE - good guy, great goalie, HORRENDOUSLY AWFUL in shootouts. NJ needs to swap in Brodeur just for the shootout to at least give us a shot, but obviously positive value contract at 4m and the potential future of our crease.
OK, chime in, give your own opinions on each, etc. I didn't really get into any advanced statistics in my own initial writeup here, but feel free, especially if you agree/disagree with any of the values. Cheers!