Semin was placed on waivers with the intent to buyout his contract.
I would love to take him on with a 1 year/1.5 million "show me" deal. Best case senerio he becomes the first line winger we need and rebounds tremendously. Worst case? One year, we don't re-sign him or trade him midseason
I think picking Blackwood was all about having flexibility 3-5 years from now, depending on the state of the team. If the Devils look like they can be one of a handful of teams that look like a legit Cup contender by then, but are a player or two short, and Schneider is still clearly the man and Blackwood has developed as hoped, Shero (assuming he's still here) can trade Blackwood as part of a package for a needed piece. If the team hasn't progressed but Schneider is still a top goalie and Blackwood looks like he's ready, then Shero can move Schneider to a team that's a goalie short and get something back.
Just hope Blackwood doesn't turn into another Ahonen or Frazee.
I like your game plan! I agree that St. Louis for one year would be great. I feel like the presence of a veteran who has had a lot of success will be helpful for mentoring purposes, especially now that Shero is committed to making this team younger. I also agree about Ruutu - that line with JJ and Palmieri would be a good one, but I wonder whether Palmieri will play in the top 6.
The fourth line will be quite a problem. Shero really needs to buy Zubrus out. I'm hoping Kalinin can take his spot there. Maybe we'll even see Matteau get some time on the fourth line.
If we can get rid of Zubrus I would like:
S. Matteau -S. Gionta - J. Tootoo
Gionta has 1 year left. I think they will ride out baby Gio and let Kalinin develop, perhaps giving Kalinin some main roster time throughout the year and taking advantage of that two way deal.
B+. Zacha was a good pick at 6. No problem with the Blackwood pick, whether he's the next guy or future trade bait. Picking up Palmieri was a good move also.
we'll see what they are really about once the FA period begins.
UFA will be very telling, more so than the draft. Apparently, we are one of the few teams interested in Frolik. I would love to snag him. Alternatively, I think getting Chris Stewart for extremely cheap and a shorter term then what Frolik would want would be a good plan B.
What we need are three things to really get things into high gear.
- A second pairing veteran defenseman (which should be easy enough to find. Johnny O, Mike Green, Erhoff...all options)
- A complimentary top six winger. - Frolik has been mentioned, I wouldn't mind taking a flyer on Chris Stewart, who would come at a much cheaper price however. Stafford, as much as it would please me on a shallow level, because I interviewed the guy, I think we should stay away from.
Lastly, we need a legitimate top line RW. You can make the case for a top line C as well, but hopefully Zacha lives up to his potential. The reason I advocate for someone like MSL is pretty simple:
Extremely cap space and budget friendly. At the worst possible case, he bombs and we either choose not to re-sign him or flip him for whatever return his humanly possible. A 1 year, no risk/high reward deal is something that I would make 10/10 times.
Last year MSL had a 50 point season (around that number anyway), I don't believe that he will decline and turn to a sloth on the ice in the span of a year. The logistics are there and are in the favor of MSL being a top contributor for the Devils if the choose to give him the 1 year flyer.
Next year's UFA class will be much stronger and we can address a more permanent fixture for our top line RW then, in the mean time a no risk/high reward deal for a single season just makes too much sense to me. What else would you do? Trade assets for Sharp? Who is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, trade a king's ransom for Kessel and pay for it in the long run?
It's a start. That bottom line is a complete dumpster fire, yes. But I don't want to rush Zacha, I think another year or so of development would do wonders. Zubrus, UNLESS they buy out will logicially stay on the team, plus I don't think Boucher is NHL ready as of yet to take Zubrus' spot and you could always slot in Matteau or Boucher over Zubrus in time. Tootoo though? great 4th line RW.
I'm a fan of Ruutu and think he's vastly underrated on this team, I see the contracts of Gionta and Zubrus being rode out to the end of next year and then then more suitable options will be on our forth line (Matteau/Boucher, Kalinin..etc)
Those lines above would be a great step in the right direction.
Next year's UFA RWs
We will definitely have options for 2016
There are a lot of pipe dreams for UFA Centers but some I don't think aren't completely unrealistic. For example, David Backes.