As long as Lou Lamoriello is calling the shots for the Devils, the trade deadline will always be an interesting time. With the team teetering on the line for a playoff spot, while at the same time still a few points out, there’s much speculation on how the Devils should handle this year’s deadline.
New Jersey has 12 games left until the trade deadline, with the Olympic stretch soon ahead (March 5th is the deadline), so some moves may be made sooner rather than later. Here’s three scenarios that could ultimately play out for NJD.
Scenario 1: Devils are sellers at the deadline
The Devils have a few very interesting pieces that could be available at the deadline. The most obvious, and best one, would be winger Jaromir Jagr. Jagr has played on the first line all season, and has 40 points in 51 games. He’s on a contract that could fit into nearly any other team’s budget: an expiring deal with a full season cap hit of just $2 million.
When they signed Jags, I’m sure Mr. Lamoriello had a few scenarios in his mind, including this one. If it comes down to it, and a team is willing to give up a first round pick, and the Devils are out of the race, then Jagr could be on his way out. The lack of a first round selection this year may tempt the Devils to just hold on to Jagr and go for a playoff spot, but may depend on how the team does these next 12 games. I won’t include players like Damien Brunner or Micheal Ryder, because their contracts run out next year, which will most likely incline New Jersey to keep them.
Scenario 2: Devils trade for a top-six forward
This could be the more likely scenario out of the three. Lamoriello was questioned on trade talks by NJ.com’s Randy Miller, and he was quoted as saying “That’s something you would never not do, if you can make your team better”.
A few possible trades include Colorado’s Paul Stastny, Florida’s Brad Boyes, Calgary’s Mike Cammalleri, and Buffalo’s Matt Moulson. The one name Devils fans have heard tossed around is Edmonton’s winger Nail Yakupov, which would take a lot of assets to acquire, and with all that’s going on in Oilers organization, I’m not sure they’d be willing to give him up. And when I say I’m not sure whats going on in the Oilers organization, I’m not sure they do, either.
The possibility of adding a forward at the deadline is probably higher than trading away anyone at the deadline, and yet both of these could be lower than, I’d say, 50%. But still, like everyone knows, Lamoriello could surprise all of us, as he usually does.
Scenario 3: Adam Larsson on the move?
Ah yes, the curious case of D-man Adam Larsson. You see, Larsson hasn’t played an NHL game since November 23rd. On the 24th, he was placed on the IR with the infamous “lower-body injury”. Sure, the injury seemed to be bad at the time, but the team decided to keep him out for a very, very long time. After his stint on the IR was over, the team sent him back down to Albany. He’s played six games there, registering four points, all assists.
Naturally, he’s been in some trade talks since he’s been held out, and the idea of trading him has floated around since the off-season. What type of trade value would he have?
It could seriously range from nothing to a team seeing him as a nice asset. It only takes one team to make something happen, and if New Jersey decides they want to move on, then I see no problem as long as they get proper compensation. Could a deal work out with Larsson + player or picks for one of the names mentioned above? It’s certainly a possibility.
Larsson is a pending RFA, so if he stays put he would need a new deal. The Devils have an ocean of talent on defense in the minors, and that’s not even mentioning guys like Jon Merrill or Eric Gelinas. Larsson could be the odd man out in Newark.
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