The New Jersey Devils need help. With Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier out at least for now, the team looks lost. Could a trade with a team in free fall like the Calgary Flames fix their issues?
The New Jersey Devils came into this season with two obvious holes. The goaltending is average at best. It became clear in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Akira Schmid saved the team when Vitek Vanecek couldn’t do the job, but that only lasted one series. Now, with the Devils staring a drop in the standings that Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier will have to dig them out of when they return, something might need to be done about the last line of defense.
Speaking of defense, that has been just as bad. The Devils give up the third most goals per game in the league. No team is going to play well giving up close to four goals per game. It needs to change. Can this team change that with its current roster?
Losing Damon Severson and Ryan Graves in one offseason was always going to hurt. The hope was some combination of Luke Hughes, Kevin Bahl, Simon Nemec, and veterans Brendan Smith and Colin Miller could put together enough positive performances that it would provide the semblance of a good defense. So far, not so much.
So, it’s time to look at the possible outside contributors who could help. Let’s start with the Calgary Flames, who already have players asking for a lifeline.
Our Charlie Borges Jr. and Joe Stanislau both wrote about Zadorov, so we’re not going to waste a ton of time here. Adding Zadorov doesn’t immediately fix the right side of the defense, but it does allow the Devils to move Luke Hughes to the right side, where he played a little in college. Stopping the puck is just as important as scoring, so adding to defense will help just as much as adding another scorer.