The New Jersey Devils are sellers at the trade deadline. That much is clear. One thing that makes it extremely clear is going through CapFriendly’s Armchair GM tool. It’s a place where regular people can make fake trades that work under the salary cap. While a lot of the moves involve claiming Nikita Gusev on waivers today, which is understandable, the main thing is looking at some of the deadline deals for the Devils’ main pieces.
The Devils have multiple trade options this season. There are a few players who haven’t worked in Lindy Ruff’s system that would absolutely work elsewhere. One being Gusev himself, who passed through waivers on Friday. There are plenty of others, and they have fans of other teams hoping they could take advantage of the failings of the Devils this season. There are always some interesting trades on the Armchair GM tool, as well as some outright crazy ones.
We tried to eliminate the crazy ones and took some very level-headed moves to see how other fanbases see the Devils’ assets. Is this another trade deadline that shapes the future? Look what the Devils did last season. They added current roster players in Janne Kuokkanen and Nick Merkley and future stars in Dawson Mercer, Nolan Foote, Kevin Bahl, and Shakir Mukhamadullin.
The Devils have a lot of assets, but they don’t have top-end assets like they did last season. There is no Taylor Hall or Blake Coleman leaving the team this season. However, players like Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Murray, Sami Vatanen, and Travis Zajac can get a decent return on expiring contracts. The Devils need to figure out what the future holds. First and foremost, they need to get the best possible return for the future, because they aren’t winning anything now.