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 Brandon Duhaime to 3 Years, $1.5 Million AAV Contract

Having an effective fourth line might be one of the most underrated things in hockey. The Devils saw what it could do in 2012 with Stephen Gionta, Steve Bernier, and Ryan Carter. How about more recently with the BMW line of Michael McLeod, Nathan Bastian, and Miles Wood? A good fourth line gives a team an identity, which is fitting since the Devils' fourth line this year doesn't have one, and neither does the team.

The Devils need an injection of speed and reckless abandon, which is Duhaime's game. He is by no means a point producer (career-high 17 points in 2021-22), but he skates like he's shot out of a cannon. He's easy to notice when he's out on the ice because his motor is nonstop, and despite his smaller frame, he's willing to get to the dirty areas and play physically. Fellow free agent Ryan Lomberg showed the league just how important that kind of player is with the Florida Panthers during their Stanley Cup run, and Duhaime could have that same impact.

Duhaime will be 27 at the start of next season and still has a lot of tread on his tires. At $1.5 million AAV, his contract would come in at just a little bit more than his potential future linemate, Nathan Bastian. It wouldn't be flashy and a three-year term would probably confuse some people, but Duhaime is the type of player who would quickly become a fan favorite.

Salary Cap Space Remaining: $5.55 million