New Jersey Devils Give Kurtis MacDermid Surprisingly Long Deal

It's not surprising that the New Jersey Devils gave Kurtis MacDermid a new deal. How long the deal is will surprise you, however.
New Jersey Devils v New York Rangers
New Jersey Devils v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils felt the need to add toughness last season. When they clearly weren't fighting back, both in the physical sense when their star players were pushed around and in the theoretical sense where the team turtled too often in games. So, Tom Fitzgerald needed to make a move, and he did.

Fitzgerald traded a seventh-round pick (the pick they got from the Nashville Predators to give David Poile one last draft pick in his final move before retiring) and prospect Zakhar Bardakov for Kurtis MacDermid. The Colorado Avalanche reportedly loved having MacDermid in the locker room, but he wasn't playing much on the team.

MacDermid did what we expected with the Devils. He has the ability to play both forward and defenseman, and his biggest opportunity was to fight the other tough guys on the ice. Of course, his most famous moment was when he tried to fight Matt Rempe in March but got denied. Then, he finally did fight Rempe off the jump of their final matchup with the Rangers. In fact, the entire line brawled.

At the year-end press conference, Fitzgerald specifically said he wants to re-sign MacDermid. Not great for negotiating, but it usually is appreciated by the players. While this should make the signing of MacDermid unsurprising, the length of his deal shocked everyone.

Three years for an enforcer? The price isn't going to change the Devils plans much (although playing at the very top of the salary cap will make every penny count). However, the Devils have a finite amount of roster spots. Signing MacDermid this long takes away some creativity. This probably takes away the chance to carry three goalies, because they need more fluid forwards to play the role of "extra."

This is just the first of many moves with the forwards this season. If MacDermid plays very little or is an extra forward, just having him in the locker room will likely be worth it. However, if they can't help themselves and put him in the lineup every night (like they did with Brendan Smith), then it will look bad to have this on them for three season.