5 Free Agents New Jersey Devils Should Avoid At All Costs

New York Rangers right wing Patrick Kane (88): Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
New York Rangers right wing Patrick Kane (88): Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils
Phil Kessel #8 of the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images ) /

Phil Kessel

Did you know Phil Kessel just won the Stanley Cup? He was a healthy scratch for the Vegas Golden Knights in the playoffs. He played all 82 games in the regular season, like he has for the past 13 seasons (well, minus lockouts and COVID-shortened years). He isn’t a totally bad player now. However, the weight of having Phil Kessel on the team is too heavy for a team like the Devils.

Kessel has this famous Ironman streak. He’s played exactly 1,000 games in a row. Obviously, the playoffs don’t count in that streak since he only played four games. It’s pretty clear that Kessel isn’t returning to the Knights, so he will be looking for a home to spend his final days in the NHL. While the Devils could use a scorer in the bottom six, Kessel has too much baggage.

That streak is going to be suffocating for the next team. Imagine being the team that ends the greatest Ironman streak because the team thinks there’s a better lineup fit. That would be national news. It’s not worth the headache.

Beyond that, Kessel isn’t the best fit for this team. His scoring prowess has dropped. Now, he’d need to be a scorer on the third or fourth line. He only had two power-play goals, which is what the Devils would mainly want from him.