Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thanks For Coming Out, New Jersey Devils

In what was almost a great ending for the old guard that is Martin Brodeur, the New Jersey Devils got behind in the Finals early and couldn't dig out of the hole. The Devils, though, as a sixth seed and fourth in their division showed they still had something left in them.

The biggest question now is whether or not they'll be able to retain their captain and franchise face, Zach Parise. The impending UFA will get a lot of offers and considering the Devils are hamstrung with the Ilya Kovalchuk contract for the next while, the room for Parise and goaltender Brodeur is slim at best.

Not only Parise and Brodeur, but guys like Ryan Carter, Steve Bernier, and Stephen Gionta-- all of whom have made a name for themselves in the playoffs-- plus Bryce Salvador still need to be signed, as well as a possible back-up goalie. While the Devils have $28M in cap space, you have to think Parise will look for at least $8.5M, leaving 20 to spread around.

While Brodeur says he'll be able to hang around for another year, I have my doubts. The only saving grace is that Brodeur was able to play less than 60 games, which probably bought him another year. However, if the Devils want to get back to this position, they'll need an experienced back-up like they had in Johan Hedberg; though the price tag could vary. Development could be key, especially if Parise is re-signed and then there's no room for a high-priced goalie.

It's going to be all about dollars and sense and while the Devils gained a lot of fans by eliminating some of the teams they eliminated, the fact remains if they can't get Parise and/or Brodeur under contract; it could be difficult to achieve this again.

Luckily, Peter DeBoer seems to be able to adapt to situations he's put into with this Devils team and will be able to adjust accordingly. The thing is how much of a vacant hole there will be or how little breathing room with the salary cap there will be??

No comments: