6 Moves New Jersey Devils Must Make To Have A Perfect Offseason

The 2023-24 season has gone worse than anyone could have imagined. With eyes now looking toward the offseason and the 2024-25 season, we lay out a way-too-early plan for Tom Fitzgerald.

San Jose Sharks v New Jersey Devils
San Jose Sharks v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Sign Free Agent Forward Chandler Stephenson to 4 Years, $4.25 Million AAV Contract

The Devils don't have the money to go big-game hunting, but they have enough to add an impact player like Stephenson. The Devils need a lot of things that Stephenson brings to the table. He has center/winger versatility, plays with pace, is a solid point producer who's played with elite talent, and, most importantly, has a Stanley Cup pedigree.

Stephenson gives the Devils the option to either play 3C and give them tremendous depth down the middle, or play top-six wing and Erik Haula can go back down to center. Either way, it fixes their center problem with Michael McLeod no longer a part of the team. The element of speed in his game is also what makes him an attractive fit for the Devils. Toffoli was brought in to be that top-six goal scorer, but his lack of foot-speed showed and it hampered the Devils transition game. That won't be the case with Stephenson, who has also shown the ability to score. His offensive game popped once he went from Washington to Vegas, and he put together back-to-back 60-point seasons in 2021-22 and 2022-23.

Even though he will be 30 by the start of next season, the organization hasn't been afraid to add veterans to this young lineup. And unlike Palat, Stephenson has the boots to skate with the likes of Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt. He is the quintessential playoff player, who at $4.25 million AAV would be a big investment but wouldn't kill them financially.

Salary Cap Space Remaining: $7.05 million