3. Going All In For Goalie
Fitzgerald made it pretty clear he didn’t think Jonathan Bernier was going to be ready at the start of the season. Bernier said that was his goal, but after a major hip surgery in the middle of the season, it’s unlikely the Devils want to ramp him up to that point just to get him there for opening night. In fact, Bernier might not even be on the opening night roster if the Devils find a way to get out of the contract (via a buyout or trade with a team looking to add cap).
The Devils seem like they’d be fine going into next season with Mackenzie Blackwood on the roster, but there were also hints that the Devils would shop around. We’ve talked about the price it would cost to get Carey Price and Connor Hellebuyck, but the former seems like he might retire and it would be hard for the Devils to get the Jets to part with the latter.
That won’t stop the Devils from spending the farm to get a goalie. Fitzgerald mentioned he’s willing to trade away this year’s first-round pick, which is likely going to be in the top five. That would get them a high-quality goalie.
Would he trade even more? Is Dawson Mercer or Alexander Holtz on the table if it’s for a guarantee in net? Jonathan Quick is probably available, but he’s far from a guarantee at this point and isn’t nearly worth those assets. Many bring up Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson, but he seems like he might be on the downside at this point. The Devils could always shell out serious bucks for Darcy Kuemper, Jack Campbell, or Ville Husso. Either way, don’t be surprised if the Devils make the big move for a netminder, and if it costs an uncomfortable amount to get it.