5 Free Agents New Jersey Devils Must Avoid At All Costs

Evander Kane #91 of the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Evander Kane #91 of the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /
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This week is the NHL Draft, but free agency starts just a few days after that. The New Jersey Devils seemingly find themselves tied to every big name in the free agency or trade market. This is what happens when you keep cap space in a flat cap world. Whether the Devils are willing to pay north of $10 million per season for Johnny Gaudreau or if they are willing to send Alex Holtz along with the second-overall pick for Alex DeBrincat is yet to be seen. However, there are a few players available that the Devils should avoid at all costs.

Some of these players are about to cash an insane paycheck. Others have a very high likelihood to fall back down to Earth once they sign the contract. There were plenty of players who hit their peaks this season, thanks to an NHL that scored more goals than it has in any season since the turn of the millennium. That could lead to mistakes in free agency if scoring takes a step back next season.

Then there’s a group of free agents who have a completely different reason not to target. They might be a certified cancer to a locker room that’s young and impressionable. So, let’s start there.

New Jersey Devils
Evander Kane #91 of the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

1. Evander Kane

Evander Kane has a long and storied history of being a mess for whatever team he signs with. He was surrounded by controversy in Winnipeg before he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres. He eventually was traded to the San Jose Sharks, and they signed him to a massive contract. That’s where things went from controversial to downright dangerous. Kane’s issues involved serious gambling, domestic violence allegations, and a pending lawsuit tied to the Sharks trying to get out of his contract entirely.

This is a player who has allegations of all kinds levied against him. The Edmonton Oilers still gave him a chance because they were desperate. It worked out for them, we guess. He was a great player on the ice, and he gave Connor McDavid a finisher. Fine. The Devils don’t need someone like that as bad.

The Devils definitely don’t need to put Evander Kane into this locker room. He’s someone who can’t seem to help himself. As much as he’d “help” the lineup on the ice, he’d hurt it so much more in other ways. He’d also be someone the Devils would have to deal with at some point during the contract.