New Jersey Devils Could Trade for Adam Henrique

The New Jersey Devils icon still has love for his former team. Could Adam Henrique return to wear the red and black?

Vegas Golden Knights v Anaheim Ducks
Vegas Golden Knights v Anaheim Ducks / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils got to host old friend Adam Henrique on Sunday night. The result? A no good, very bad, unfun 5-1 loss to the visiting Anaheim Ducks.

Henrique played a big part in the beatdown, scoring his first career hat trick in the building where it all started. “It’s special,” Henrique said. “This place was special for me for a long time. A lot of great memories here. I always enjoy seeing everybody and playing in this building. It is kind of funny that the first [hat trick] was here.”

It may sound strange, but Henrique would surpass his Devils' regular season games total if he plays every game on the Ducks this season. It's clear that the 33-year-old still has love for the Devils organization and the fans. What if we haven't seen the last of Henrique in a Devils uniform?

We've heard about John Gibson this and John Gibson that, but the Devils should be considering a joint deal that also brings Henrique home. As NHL insider Elliotte Friedman would tell it on his 32 Thoughts podcast, many contenders will be looking at him, too.

"Someone said to me that goalies are the most talk right now," Friedman acknowledged. I think [Henrique is] probably someone who doesn't get enough attention. I think there's gonna be a number of good teams looking at him down the road. He's an unrestricted free agent after the season; good player."

The thing with Henrique is that he's going to turn 34 in February, and like Friedman mentioned, he's on an expiring deal. The Ducks, even though they hammered the Devils on Sunday, are not going anywhere this season. They'll likely want to maximize their return on Henrique while he's still with them.

From the Devils' perspective, there are a few roadblocks they'll need to overcome to facilitate a trade. Henrique has a cap hit of $5.875 million, and if they want Gibson as well, his is $6.4 million. The Devils are expected to accrue cap space up to the trade deadline, which could give them roughly $1.62 million in wiggle room without Dougie Hamilton's $9 million cap hit on LTIR. No matter which way you slice it, there's either going to have to be money retained by the Ducks or money sent the other way by the Devils.

Related. 3 insane trade packages for John Gibson. 3 insane trade packages for John Gibson. dark

Henrique hasn't appeared in the playoffs since 2017-18 - the year he was traded. The former Devils standout did not score a point in that postseason campaign, and the Devils made the playoffs that year as well. With New Jersey now restored to contender status, it's highly likely Henrique would be interested in a return, whether it be in free agency or via trade.