New Jersey Devils Should Let Adam Henrique Live In The Past, Not The Future

Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

“Henrique!! It’s over!!!” Can the New Jersey Devils please let it remain over? It is time to move on from this fantasy that Adam Henrique is going to return anytime soon. Here’s why.

The 30-year-old center was traded from the Devils to the Anaheim Ducks during the middle of the miraculous 2017-18 playoff season in exchange for defenseman Sami Vatanen, among other pieces. Henrique thrived since arriving in Anaheim, putting up a solid 87 points in 162 games. That is more than decent for a third-line center on a struggling team. However, this season he only has two points in nine games. It all came to a head when he was designated a healthy scratched last game.

That should be a warning sign and the number one reason the Devils should not pursue a trade back. Being a healthy scratch is not a good thing, especially when the Ducks are not exactly a Cup contending team with a lot of depth options. He should get a little leeway since he’s a veteran and this COVID season is strange on everyone, but it’s still full of red flags.

Being 30 years old is another reason the Devils shouldn’t consider the move. New Jersey already has Travis Zajac for the veteran leadership aspect. Yes, he is 35 and has an expiring contract, but the Devils can bring him back for that exact reason on a short-term, cheap deal. That gives them no reason to make the center core any older by attempting to trade for Henrique.

The team’s average age is 26, which is something this team has not seen for at least a decade. Why ruin it? The team is also not in any position to make a deep playoff run so there is no reason to bring in more veterans, especially when most of the current lineup needs experience in the NHL. The pieces that could be moved do not exactly have a lot of value anyway. The Devils should just keep whatever draft picks it would cost to get Henrique.

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Finally, reason number three and probably the most important reason that everyone is begging him to come back, the goal. Yes, he sent us to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012 with a nice poke in goal eliminating the New York Rangers. I will forever love Adam Henrique for that moment. If the Devils won the Stanley Cup in 2012, then yes it would arguably be one of the most important goals in franchise history. They did not win the Cup, so overall the moment is overrated.

Next, we will look at the top 10 goals in franchise history to back the fact that it’s overrated. This goal is great, but at the end of it all it was just another goal and it is certainly not a reason to bring Adam Henrique and his bloated contract home to New Jersey.