As I wrote yesterday in my article Devils’ center Andrei Loktionov will be in New Jersey next season. This time it did not come from a reporter or an agent. It came from the big man himself, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello.
The long time General Manager has been quoted as saying the following; “He’s not going to Russia. He’s staying in New Jersey.” He then later added that there is no contract signed, but it is “imminent.” Loktionov was set to become a restricted free agent this summer, and had options to play in his home country. The details of the probable deal are not known, but it is rumored to be a one-year deal.
That’s not all the Lamoriello touched on.
Matt Shaw/Assistant Coaching spot
Last week it was announced that assistant coach Matt Shaw was leaving the staff to go coach the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL. Lou has said he will take his time before hiring a new assistant coach to take over an abysmal power play.
It has been a crazy year for the Devils’ 2012 first round draft pick, first being cut from the eventual gold medal winning, USA World Junior team, making his NHL debut, and then being released by his team in the QMJHL for “behavior issues”.
Well he had a busy day today. First it was announced that Matteau was named to the 2013 USA World Junior Evaluation camp. The 19 year old was invited along with 40 other skaters for a chance to represent the United States in the upcoming U-20 World Junior Championships.
After a brutal end to his junior season with the Aramada of the QMJHL the team has traded his rights to Rimouski Oceani. This will give him another option to develop if he does not make the NHL roster. I for one think he is not ready yet to play in the NHL, and will be ten times better perfecting his craft in the AHL, or juniors. This is really good news for Devils’ fans.
Marek Zidlicky/Free Agents
Rich Chere of the Newark Star Ledger reported that the Devils have had “one brief discussion” with the Zidlicky camp, but negotiations are not very serious at this point.
I don’t think there is a possible way Zidlicky comes back to the team next year. He is getting older and will want to be paid a fairly large amount. Add that in with the seven other defensman that the team carried last year, and the prospects on the way, and there is just no room for the veteran Czech defensman.
Possible destinations could include the two other New York area teams the Islanders and the Rangers. The Islanders could look for a cheaper replacement for Mark Streit after talks went sour. The Rangers are a long shot but will be looking for a PP quarterback. They could come to Zidlicky if they can’t find a long term replacement.
I would not bet on Zidlicky being a Devil next season.