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The 2014 NJ Devils Offseason Thread


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Matteau had 13 goals in 67 games last year.  That's not exceptional - it's decent for a 19 year old, but not exceptional.  He'll be an NHL player, probably, but he has one year of AHL eligibility left - I'd prefer he stayed in the AHL as long as possible unless he really turns heads.

 

Josefson now has 2 straight years of being pretty not good.  I'm not sure what the Devils plan to do with him.  I'd like to see him get 20 straight games in the lineup, but he also cannot seem to score.

 

Sislo is an NHL player - of course, NJ has to re-sign him first, as he is also a UFA.  He's not young.  He belongs in the NHL but it's hard to imagine given his offense in the AHL that he would ever be anything more than a 4th liner.

 

I assume you mean Kelly Zajac but I doubt he'd be as good as Gionta.

 

None of these players should be 3rd liners at any point except maybe Josefson.  Now neither should Bernier or Gionta, hopefully, but the trouble is that NJ doesn't have the minor league depth to make this happen.  They have Reid Boucher and that's it for now.

 

That 4th line doesn't have some sort of special chemistry, but it's a lot better than it's being given credit for being.  This is a franchise that's given 100 games to Tim Sestito, and more than that to Rod Pelley.  The 4th line has been good/decent in these seasons post lockout-II:  2009, 2010, 2013, 2014.  The rest, it's been largely a disaster, with 2012 reserved for being a special disaster.

 

Yes, definitely meant Kelly.

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Knock it off!  

you waited 2 days and then completely misrepresented what he said. Disagree with someone all you want but at least do it honestly. There were 2 things said, this same roster probably makes the play

I know the Devils offense was terrible.  The thing about offense is that it's largely random in short bursts.  Would the Devils have been a favorite in the 1st round?  No, of course not.  But they cou

Carter should definitely return. I also have absolutely no problem with Gionta, Bernier, and Sal coming back. They helped us get to a Cup two years ago. They're not exactly trash. If Lou got Brian Gionta back, it would be cool to see the Gio brothers playing on the same team.

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Bernier is trash, Sal is trash, and that scenario is a fvcking nightmare. Two years ago means sh!t now. You need to put the fvcking pom-poms down mdd.

 

I don't even think Salvador was good during the Cup run. He scored some of the flukiest goals on some trash shots that could be repeated a thousand times and wouldn't happen again. There was that empty netter from his own zone. A shot that deflected off 5 players. Another that went off someone's face and in. It was great and all, but you know what Bryce Salvador can and can't do offensively.

 

He wasn't very reliable defensively during that run at all, and he has been awful ever since.

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Bernier is trash, Sal is trash, and that scenario is a fvcking nightmare. Two years ago means sh!t now. You need to put the fvcking pom-poms down mdd.

 

Bernier had a down year last season but he'll bounce back. Why write him off? As for Sal, he's the team captain. You can't exactly throw him out too. He provides leadership. Besides, I highly doubt Lou thinks Sal and Bernier are trash. If he did, they wouldn't be on the team. 

 

As for Brian Gionta, he is being pursued by the Canadiens between now and July 1st, but I think Lou could pull off a deal that lands him here. Again, Gio brings tremendous leadership and stability, and this team could use that. I dunno, I don't get the disgust people have for him rejoining the team. Lou values players that buy into the system, which is why it's best to bring back former Devils. They know the system works.

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MDD, you sound like the Devils fans who post on those ridiculously stupid Facebook groups. Bernier didn't have a 'down year'. He sucks. He isn't good. He never really has been good. Salvador is finished. Brian Gionta is a shell of himself and his 'leadership' isn't needed here. We're good on leadership. These things are not very difficult to see if you, ya know, pay attention when you watch the games.

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Tri, when did you flip on CBGB? I remember you ripping them apart both here and in chat.

 

Their numbers changed.  Josefson had a bad year.  They shipped Loktionov off.  And yeah, Gionta needs less ice time - he should be getting 10 minutes a game.  I don't think they should all be retained - Bernier should go, Sislo should be the 3rd guy on the line - but I don't see replacements for Carter and Gionta in the system right now, and if you can get both guys for 1.75M combined, that's probably as good as you can hope for.

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The only thing that makes S. Gionta an acceptable NHL player is the fact that he consistently throws the body around.  It's encouraging to see him play that way.  I hate to refer to 2012 again, but seeing him nail Mike Rupp and throw him into the bench was a friggin' treat.  That being said, I agree that Carter should be the only one brought back.

 

Bernier had a down year last season but he'll bounce back. Why write him off? As for Sal, he's the team captain. You can't exactly throw him out too. He provides leadership. Besides, I highly doubt Lou thinks Sal and Bernier are trash. If he did, they wouldn't be on the team. 

 

As for Brian Gionta, he is being pursued by the Canadiens between now and July 1st, but I think Lou could pull off a deal that lands him here. Again, Gio brings tremendous leadership and stability, and this team could use that. I dunno, I don't get the disgust people have for him rejoining the team. Lou values players that buy into the system, which is why it's best to bring back former Devils. They know the system works.

Leadership can be pulled from anywhere in the lineup.  Anyone can say, "Oh yeah, but he's the team captain".  Any bloke can wear a 'C' on his chest and everyone will say he provides great leadership, but a captain also has to lead by example and play well and Salvador does not play very well considering the other options available, Merril, Gelinas, Larsson.  Then you say bring in Brian Gionta who also brings leadership, but Gio doesn't exactly light up the league anymore either, and if we have Salvador bringing so much leadership, why bring back Gionta?  Then you state Lou values former players who buy into the system, that may be true for B. Gionta, but you're forgetting that the "system" is set up by the head coach and B. Gionta hasn't been a Devil since '09 and would have no idea about what system is played here.  When has bringing back a former Devil ever worked out for us?  The only one that comes to mind for me is Brendan Shanahan, but if I remember correctly, he retired in mid-season?

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Bernier bounce back "to" what? He's useless.

Bernier had a down year last season but he'll bounce back. Why write him off? As for Sal, he's the team captain. You can't exactly throw him out too. He provides leadership. Besides, I highly doubt Lou thinks Sal and Bernier are trash. If he did, they wouldn't be on the team.

As for Brian Gionta, he is being pursued by the Canadiens between now and July 1st, but I think Lou could pull off a deal that lands him here. Again, Gio brings tremendous leadership and stability, and this team could use that. I dunno, I don't get the disgust people have for him rejoining the team. Lou values players that buy into the system, which is why it's best to bring back former Devils. They know the system works.

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Their numbers changed. Josefson had a bad year. They shipped Loktionov off. And yeah, Gionta needs less ice time - he should be getting 10 minutes a game. I don't think they should all be retained - Bernier should go, Sislo should be the 3rd guy on the line - but I don't see replacements for Carter and Gionta in the system right now, and if you can get both guys for 1.75M combined, that's probably as good as you can hope for.

Gionta can be replaced easily Tri. He's terrible. Carter is valuable because he can play all three forward positions pretty capably and can do most thing relatively well. Gionta was getting beaten like a rented mule at times last year and I recall at one point he was on the ice for something ridiculous like 7 or 8 GWG against over a few weeks span.

I don't know what stats you are seeing where you've now flipped but you were even more negative on Gionta than I was.

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Gionta can be replaced easily Tri. He's terrible. Carter is valuable because he can play all three forward positions pretty capably and can do most thing relatively well. Gionta was getting beaten like a rented mule at times last year and I recall at one point he was on the ice for something ridiculous like 7 or 8 GWG against over a few weeks span.

I don't know what stats you are seeing where you've now flipped but you were even more negative on Gionta than I was.

 

He's not terrible.  He's a capable 4th line center who'll give you no offense but drives play to a tiny extent 5 on 5 and does decent work on the PK.  It appears also that he encourages low-event hockey, which is good when protecting a lead.  I doubt very much that he was on for 7 or 8 GWG over a few weeks span, that doesn't even seem possible; think about it for a second.

 

Now it's entirely possible given his age that he craters next year, and Gionta should not get off the 4th line except in the direst of circumstances, but the two things Gionta has going for him is that he's cheap and he's decent.  I'm not convinced Josefson can replace what he does.

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I don't even think Salvador was good during the Cup run. He scored some of the flukiest goals on some trash shots that could be repeated a thousand times and wouldn't happen again. There was that empty netter from his own zone. A shot that deflected off 5 players. Another that went off someone's face and in. It was great and all, but you know what Bryce Salvador can and can't do offensively.

 

He wasn't very reliable defensively during that run at all, and he has been awful ever since.

 

People forget that he and Volchenkov were getting coned (Volchenkov moreso) like they were in an ice cream parlor in the Florida series and were only marginally better in the Rangers series.

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He's not terrible.  He's a capable 4th line center who'll give you no offense but drives play to a tiny extent 5 on 5 and does decent work on the PK.  It appears also that he encourages low-event hockey, which is good when protecting a lead.  I doubt very much that he was on for 7 or 8 GWG over a few weeks span, that doesn't even seem possible; think about it for a second.

 

Now it's entirely possible given his age that he craters next year, and Gionta should not get off the 4th line except in the direst of circumstances, but the two things Gionta has going for him is that he's cheap and he's decent.  I'm not convinced Josefson can replace what he does.

 

I'm not convinced although I do agree Josefson is not an option for the 4th line role  Even you were knocking Gionta for a good chunk of games this season.  I'm surprised you're doing a slight pendulum swing in the opposite direction.

 

He looks better than he is because he plays hard and coaches like guys who try and listen to the Xs and Os strategy/demands they put on players.  But he is so freaking limited.  I'll have to find where I had seen the GWG stat (it was for losses over a few weeks span), however he was also getting slaughtered on the PK at times (Part of that is on Deboer however due to terrible matchup decisions (ie, Gionta on Stamkos not once but twice in the same game and same with the Flyers and putting him in a matchup against Giroux).

 

The 4th line by and large got annihilated at times last year (again some of this is on Deboer).

 

I think it's a losers mentality to just keep throwing a  limited player out there like Gionta rather than find an upgrade for a 4th line role.  He should not be playing more than say 40-50 games a year tops and in most he does play, maybe 8 minutes. 

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Can't forget the family ties too. Three things for gionta.

Stastny or bust

I'm with you on this. Stastny would be awesome valuable piece that won't cost us prospects/draft picks.  Yes we need a 4th line like LA's, and CBGB is done imo. There will be lots of these types out there.  Kyle Clifford was awesome and Lewis as well. I hope B. Gionta stays in Montreal. We need a change (yrs, for the sake of change)

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I'm not convinced although I do agree Josefson is not an option for the 4th line role  Even you were knocking Gionta for a good chunk of games this season.  I'm surprised you're doing a slight pendulum swing in the opposite direction.

 

He looks better than he is because he plays hard and coaches like guys who try and listen to the Xs and Os strategy/demands they put on players.  But he is so freaking limited.  I'll have to find where I had seen the GWG stat (it was for losses over a few weeks span), however he was also getting slaughtered on the PK at times (Part of that is on Deboer however due to terrible matchup decisions (ie, Gionta on Stamkos not once but twice in the same game and same with the Flyers and putting him in a matchup against Giroux).

 

The 4th line by and large got annihilated at times last year (again some of this is on Deboer).

 

I think it's a losers mentality to just keep throwing a  limited player out there like Gionta rather than find an upgrade for a 4th line role.  He should not be playing more than say 40-50 games a year tops and in most he does play, maybe 8 minutes. 

 

Let no one accuse me of not changing my opinion. 

 

I'm not really talking about his on-ice play when I observe him - indeed, his positioning frustrates me and I basically don't even watch his breakaways anymore.  'Slaughtered on the PK' is strong - yeah, a lot of goals went in, but is that his fault?  I'm not sure.  The Devils gave up 5.88 goals/60 with Gionta on the ice, 4.49 GA/60 with him off the ice on the PK.  But Gionta had by far the worst SV% on - goalies stopped only 85% of shots with him on the ice.  They stopped a lot more with other people on the ice.   Is that because of Gionta's positioning, blind luck, some combination of the two?  I don't know, but I am certainly not prepared to say one way or another after 200 minutes - all it takes is a few 2013-14 Brodeur specials for that number to go sideways.  Meanwhile Zajac and Zubrus were on the ice for a lot more shots against.

 

At 5 on 5, Gionta was on for 12 goals for and 17 goals against.  He and his line only shot 4% though.  Do I expect the 'NHL average' of 8%?  No, of course not.  But I think I can expect an on-ice shooting percentage of around 6%.  Meanwhile Gionta was started in his own zone a lot.  This sort of deployment of Gionta enables the other lines to get offensive zone starts.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Devils tell their bottom lines to get as many shots as possible at net, to force faceoffs that bring out their big line.  I've heard Kings fans suggest that's what their team does.

 

If the Devils had internal upgrades for Gionta, I'd say great, use them, but I don't think they do.  Meanwhile the other 4th line centers available on the market are:  Brian Boyle, Dominic Moore, Vern Fiddler, Cody McCormick, Michal Handzus, Derek MacKenzie.  Boyle will cost at least twice what Gionta would, Moore's probably not signing anywhere other than NYR (not even sure he's playing next year), Fiddler had a nice season but he's 34, same with MacKenzie, McCormick sucks, and Handzus is through.  I don't think it's worthwhile to spend a bunch of money on the 4th line, especially when it looks like they'll have a guy like Zubrus, Clowe, or Ruutu taking 4th line shifts at times during the year.  If Gionta will come back for $800,000, I think you sign him and deal with the issues DeBoer has with him; you're still getting a relative savings, because most of those guys will be getting paid twice as much.

Edited by Triumph
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Let no one accuse me of not changing my opinion. 

 

I'm not really talking about his on-ice play when I observe him - indeed, his positioning frustrates me and I basically don't even watch his breakaways anymore.  'Slaughtered on the PK' is strong - yeah, a lot of goals went in, but is that his fault?  I'm not sure.  The Devils gave up 5.88 goals/60 with Gionta on the ice, 4.49 GA/60 with him off the ice on the PK.  But Gionta had by far the worst SV% on - goalies stopped only 85% of shots with him on the ice.  They stopped a lot more with other people on the ice.   Is that because of Gionta's positioning, blind luck, some combination of the two?  I don't know, but I am certainly not prepared to say one way or another after 200 minutes - all it takes is a few 2013-14 Brodeur specials for that number to go sideways.  Meanwhile Zajac and Zubrus were on the ice for a lot more shots against.

 

At 5 on 5, Gionta was on for 12 goals for and 17 goals against.  He and his line only shot 4% though.  Do I expect the 'NHL average' of 8%?  No, of course not.  But I think I can expect an on-ice shooting percentage of around 6%.  Meanwhile Gionta was started in his own zone a lot.  This sort of deployment of Gionta enables the other lines to get offensive zone starts.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Devils tell their bottom lines to get as many shots as possible at net, to force faceoffs that bring out their big line.  I've heard Kings fans suggest that's what their team does.

 

If the Devils had internal upgrades for Gionta, I'd say great, use them, but I don't think they do.  Meanwhile the other 4th line centers available on the market are:  Brian Boyle, Dominic Moore, Vern Fiddler, Cody McCormick, Michal Handzus, Derek MacKenzie.  Boyle will cost at least twice what Gionta would, Moore's probably not signing anywhere other than NYR (not even sure he's playing next year), Fiddler had a nice season but he's 34, same with MacKenzie, McCormick sucks, and Handzus is through.  I don't think it's worthwhile to spend a bunch of money on the 4th line, especially when it looks like they'll have a guy like Zubrus, Clowe, or Ruutu taking 4th line shifts at times during the year.  If Gionta will come back for $800,000, I think you sign him and deal with the issues DeBoer has with him; you're still getting a relative savings, because most of those guys will be getting paid twice as much.

I can see Ruutu or Zubrus playing on the fourth line, but Clowe?  If he's healthy, he should be playing with Zajac and Jagr.  That gives that line great size, great skill, and they played great together in the one game, which was the game where Clowe got hurt again, albeit speed is left to be desired.  The only one off that list that might be worth that 1.6m/yr is Boyle, but the Devils don't need bottom 6 talent .  You don't think that Josefson is better than Gionta?  That's ludicrous.  The Devils are a better team with JaJo in the lineup than Gionta in the lineup. 

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Let no one accuse me of not changing my opinion. 

 

I'm not really talking about his on-ice play when I observe him - indeed, his positioning frustrates me and I basically don't even watch his breakaways anymore.  'Slaughtered on the PK' is strong - yeah, a lot of goals went in, but is that his fault?  I'm not sure.  The Devils gave up 5.88 goals/60 with Gionta on the ice, 4.49 GA/60 with him off the ice on the PK.  But Gionta had by far the worst SV% on - goalies stopped only 85% of shots with him on the ice.  They stopped a lot more with other people on the ice.   Is that because of Gionta's positioning, blind luck, some combination of the two?  I don't know, but I am certainly not prepared to say one way or another after 200 minutes - all it takes is a few 2013-14 Brodeur specials for that number to go sideways.  Meanwhile Zajac and Zubrus were on the ice for a lot more shots against.

 

At 5 on 5, Gionta was on for 12 goals for and 17 goals against.  He and his line only shot 4% though.  Do I expect the 'NHL average' of 8%?  No, of course not.  But I think I can expect an on-ice shooting percentage of around 6%.  Meanwhile Gionta was started in his own zone a lot.  This sort of deployment of Gionta enables the other lines to get offensive zone starts.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Devils tell their bottom lines to get as many shots as possible at net, to force faceoffs that bring out their big line.  I've heard Kings fans suggest that's what their team does.

 

If the Devils had internal upgrades for Gionta, I'd say great, use them, but I don't think they do.  Meanwhile the other 4th line centers available on the market are:  Brian Boyle, Dominic Moore, Vern Fiddler, Cody McCormick, Michal Handzus, Derek MacKenzie.  Boyle will cost at least twice what Gionta would, Moore's probably not signing anywhere other than NYR (not even sure he's playing next year), Fiddler had a nice season but he's 34, same with MacKenzie, McCormick sucks, and Handzus is through.  I don't think it's worthwhile to spend a bunch of money on the 4th line, especially when it looks like they'll have a guy like Zubrus, Clowe, or Ruutu taking 4th line shifts at times during the year.  If Gionta will come back for $800,000, I think you sign him and deal with the issues DeBoer has with him; you're still getting a relative savings, because most of those guys will be getting paid twice as much.

 

That's the problem in a nutshell Tri.  Deboer.  His utilization of Gionta did no the player no favors.  And he actually looked gassed at times last season the latter part of the season.  I think they are going to have to cycle Zubrus and Ruutu into the 4th line some games, which should actually improve that line's overall performance.  But alas yet again, a lot of this depends on Deboer.  I realize Deboer, but at times he was conducting an excercise in self-inflicting defeat with how he assembled and rolled the lines out strategically overall and then situationally in game.  I really want to see Sislo given a shot.  I think he deserves it and there's no reason to keep Bernier.

 

Moore is a superior player, but he will ask for a decent penny.  I think the Rangers will try to keep Boyle or Moore, whichever one costs less.  Also, Moore took a ton of penalties when I watched him regularly in the playoffs.

 

Also, your point on the Kings fans comment on the faceoff/zone strategy is interesting.  When we played them in the 2012 Cup final/playoffs, a big takeaway was that Deboer did that with how he kept rolling his lines so much, but was also really trying to get the top 2 lines more offensive zone faceoffs in doing so.  However I think most teams operate off this strategy nowadays, provided you have the horses.  Unfortunately we really don't have that currently and it showed last year.

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Salvador is garbage and is one more slight hit away from being completely useless (more useless then he already is). The only plus we have keeping that slug is that we can potentially LTIR him. Volchenkov isn't afraid to hit and block shots and has that physcial presence that almost no other defenseman on this team has. He also has way more in the tank left then Sal. Buy out Sal and keep the superior defenseman. That's just me. I just wish we didnt waste our first amensty buyout on Johan fvcking Hedberg. A regular buyout would have worked there. He wasn't making THAT much. A regular buyout in that case would have given the chance for us to buy out both Sal and Volch but oh well.

 

Also my heart says to get rid of Gionta because JJ has in my opinion far more potential - however, lets be realistic. That will never happen, Jake will most likely go to the KHL or Sweeden and Petey Jr. will be our fourth line center for years to come.

 

Bernier had one bad year. Give him another chance. You could sign another player to fill that spot up but you also got to take chemistry into consideration.

 

 

We could totally revamp our lineup and put Ruutu and/or Zubrus on the fourth line. However, I'm not fond of giving players with those massive contracts fourth line minutes.

 

 

CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER
CapGeek Armchair GM Roster
FORWARDS
Matt Moulson ($4.000m) / Paul Stastny ($7.500m) / Jaromir Jagr ($3.500m)
Adam Henrique ($4.000m) / Travis Zajac ($5.750m) / Damien Brunner ($2.500m)
Ryane Clowe ($4.850m) / Patrik Elias ($5.500m) / Dainius Zubrus ($3.100m)
Tuomo Ruutu ($3.800m) / Stephen Gionta ($0.563m) / Steve Bernier ($0.775m)
DEFENSEMEN
Anton Volchenkov ($4.250m) / Adam Larsson ($0.874m)
Marek Zidlicky ($3.000m) / Andy Greene ($3.000m)
Jon Merrill ($0.840m) / Eric Gelinas ($0.715m)
Peter Harrold ($0.800m) /
GOALTENDERS
Cory Schneider ($4.000m)
Keith Kinkaid ($0.605m)
BUYOUTS
Trent Hunter ($0.667m)
Johan Hedberg ($0.000m)
Bryce Salvador ($0.000m)
------
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $64,838,292; BONUSES: $3,060,000
CAP SPACE (21-man roster): $6,261,708

 

Maybe something like this?

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The problem with that is you're penciling in the two top free agents out there. The likelihood on one of them I would say is slim let alone both. 

 

Also, I wouldn't want to separate Zajac and Jagr. But I definitely agree, either a second line center or a LW for Jagr and Zajer. Getting neither would be disasterous, one would be good, getting both would be amazing. 

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Salvador is garbage and is one more slight hit away from being completely useless (more useless then he already is). The only plus we have keeping that slug is that we can potentially LTIR him. Volchenkov isn't afraid to hit and block shots and has that physcial presence that almost no other defenseman on this team has. He also has way more in the tank left then Sal. Buy out Sal and keep the superior defenseman. That's just me. I just wish we didnt waste our first amensty buyout on Johan fvcking Hedberg. A regular buyout would have worked there. He wasn't making THAT much. A regular buyout in that case would have given the chance for us to buy out both Sal and Volch but oh well.

 

Also my heart says to get rid of Gionta because JJ has in my opinion far more potential - however, lets be realistic. That will never happen, Jake will most likely go to the KHL or Sweeden and Petey Jr. will be our fourth line center for years to come.

 

Bernier had one bad year. Give him another chance. You could sign another player to fill that spot up but you also got to take chemistry into consideration.

 

 

We could totally revamp our lineup and put Ruutu and/or Zubrus on the fourth line. However, I'm not fond of giving players with those massive contracts fourth line minutes.

 

 

CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER

CapGeek Armchair GM Roster

FORWARDS

Matt Moulson ($4.000m) / Paul Stastny ($7.500m) / Jaromir Jagr ($3.500m)

Adam Henrique ($4.000m) / Travis Zajac ($5.750m) / Damien Brunner ($2.500m)

Ryane Clowe ($4.850m) / Patrik Elias ($5.500m) / Dainius Zubrus ($3.100m)

Tuomo Ruutu ($3.800m) / Stephen Gionta ($0.563m) / Steve Bernier ($0.775m)

DEFENSEMEN

Anton Volchenkov ($4.250m) / Adam Larsson ($0.874m)

Marek Zidlicky ($3.000m) / Andy Greene ($3.000m)

Jon Merrill ($0.840m) / Eric Gelinas ($0.715m)

Peter Harrold ($0.800m) /

GOALTENDERS

Cory Schneider ($4.000m)

Keith Kinkaid ($0.605m)

BUYOUTS

Trent Hunter ($0.667m)

Johan Hedberg ($0.000m)

Bryce Salvador ($0.000m)

------

CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)

(estimations for 2014-15)

SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $64,838,292; BONUSES: $3,060,000

CAP SPACE (21-man roster): $6,261,708

 

Maybe something like this?

I wish

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Thinking outside the box here I think Vol will be traded to the islanders, Sal will also get traded but the Devils are going to retain some of his salary. Zubrus will be the player that gets brought out.

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