This is cheating, but some might not even realize what happened between the Devils and Christian Jaros this season. He’s no longer on the roster after the Devils tried to send him to the AHL. After playing 11 games in the NHL, the Devils were trying to put him down in the minors in order to bring up fellow tall man Kevin Bahl. Jaros clearly didn’t like that, and he was eventually placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract.
The issue for Jaros is this came on March 24th. If he were to sign with a team, he would not be eligible for the playoffs. For non-playoff teams, they aren’t looking to sign 25-year-old defensemen who have little upside at this point outside of their size.
The Devils traded Nick Merkley for Jaros in the offseason, a second Taylor Hall trade piece that left for a player on this list. The Devils clearly lost that deal even though Merkley is not having a great season. He played nine games in the NHL this season, and he played well in the AHL. Then, the Rangers traded for him, sending Anthony Bitteto to the Sharks.
Jaros and Merkley didn’t do so well with their next stops, and now they are both need to find new homes. Maybe the Rangers keep Merkley, but nobody picked up Jaros after his contract was terminated. It seems like a very messy divorce for the Devils that fell under the radar. It wasn’t the right move, but Merkley likely doesn’t have a great season with the Devils, either.