In case you have missed the news, the New Jersey Devils have re-signed D Marek Zidlicky to a 1-year, $3 million contract. So far on Twitter I have seen a lot of negative reception and also a lot of positive reception. The Zidlicky contract raises a whole new set of problems, theories, and rumors.
@DevilsArmy95 tweeted something very interesting:
Now that Zidlicky is back for 1 more year I wouldnt mind him playing on the wing. Hes offensive minded and cant play D. Has a good shot too
— Devils Army (@DevilsArmy95)
They brought up a very interesting concept. If someone gets injured again, maybe he could move up to the wing and contribute from there. It is highly unlikely considering he is a first line blue-liner so it would be odd for him to move down as a possible 3rd or 4th line winger. I wouldn’t mind seeing this experiment unfold but, once again, it is extremely unlikely.
Granted that nothing has really been released on Mike Hoeffel’s contract yet, with the Zidlicky signing, the Devils are looking at a little over 4 million in cap space now. That is not enough space to re-sign both RFA’s Adam Henrique and Jacob Josefson.
If push comes to shove, I’m confident that Josefson will take the minimum qualifying offer if he has to. He won’t be pushing for a big contract and Lou certainly won’t give him one unless he proves himself this year.
Now that leaves Adam Henrique. I don’t necessarily think Adam will push for more than 4 million a year. I think that he is worth just that. 4 million with being the absolute most if it is a long term deal. Lou could go up to 4.5 but I think that would be pushing it considering he didn’t have a stellar season last year either.
If the Devils sign Henrique to that contract, there is no wiggle room in the cap.
Tom Gulitti talked to Lou Lamoriello about the Zidlicky signing earlier today.
“@TGfireandice: So, it sounds like Lamoriello intends to try to move another defenseman before the start of next season. We’ll see.” Anton
— Thomas_Formoso (@Thomas_Formoso) July 10, 2013
Anton Volchenkov is owed $4.25 million for the next three years and he seems to be a very prime target to be traded away. The problem is, who would take that contract unless Lou spices up the deal.
@Thomas_Formoso Lou Has Too. The Problem I See W/That Is That Contract. If Vol Gets Moved? Lou Will Have Too Add A Piece? A Pick/Prospect
— Kevin (@walkingdevs) July 10, 2013
I later agreed with Kevin saying that he would most likely trade a pick. I don’t see Lou trading a prospect that hasn’t had NHL experience because Lou doesn’t do that too often. The bottom line is that 12.75 million dollars over the next three years for a very lackluster defender is hard to do. Even Gulitti mentioned that if it was easy to make the trade, it would’ve happened by now.
Depending on the Henrique deal, the Devils may have Jacob Josefson stay in limbo unless someone sends the Devils and offer sheet. Not to mention, a deal with Alexei Ponikarovsky dies with it. If the Devils somehow deal Anton Volchenkov, they have a lot of wiggle room for not only this year but next year’s free agent class that has quite a few names in it.
Rumors have also circulated that Andy Greene could get dealt, as he is the more attractive of the two defenders, but hopefully it doesn’t come to that. Greene is owed $3 million over the next two years.