New Jersey Devils: It's Still Not The Right Time to Trade for a Goalie

The New Jersey Devils need a goalie. That's not a surprise, especially with how Vitek Vanecek is playing. However, the goalie market is insane, and the Devils can't afford to lose a key piece to their future for a short-term fix.

New Jersey Devils right wing Tyler Toffoli (73) and Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson
New Jersey Devils right wing Tyler Toffoli (73) and Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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The New Jersey Devils had another terrible performance from the goaltending position on Saturday night against the Boston Bruins. Vitek Vanecek was actually amazing in the first period, but he fell to pieces in the second period. He gave up four goals, and the Devils could not recover. It's been the headline to this season. Nothing is working because goaltending cannot bail this team out.

Goaltending is not the team's only issue. The defense hasn't played to its potential. Despite Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec playing well as rookies, the rest of the defense is well below expectations, and Dougie Hamilton will likely miss the rest of the regular season. However, the only thing that can turn this Devils season around immediately is the right goaltending move.

Unfortunately, that's also the case for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes, Seattle Kraken, Buffalo Sabres, and Edmonton Oilers. There are more teams in the goalie trade market than there have been in a very long time. The Leafs are probably the most desperate team. Ilya Samsonov is the worst goalie in the league. Yes, worse than Vanecek. Martin Jones has been decent, and Joseph Woll was fine before the injury, but everyone can see a ticking time bomb when we see it.

The latest episode of the 32 Thoughts Podcast with Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman went into detail about the goalie market and how it is insane. Friedman mentioned the Devils by name, and he talked about their desperation.

"The Devils are clearly looking. They are trying to figure out what they are going to do here... These teams that have extra goalies, they know there is some desperation out there and they are preying on it. "

Elliotte Friedman on the 32 Thoughts Pod

There are a few goalies on the market. John Gibson is the biggest name. The Ducks would love to get a haul for Gibson. They would love to retain some salary because that would cause the return to go up even more. The Devils have the ability to give up said haul, but the price is probably borderline insane.

Many Devils fans consider adding University of Michigan star and current Team USA defenseman Seamus Casey into any deal a no-go. However, that would be a blessing compared to the asks going around right now. Teams like the Ducks and even the Montreal Canadiens are asking for players like Dawson Mercer in deals. It sounds insane, which it is. Tom Fitzgerald would never do that, but that's why a deal hasn't happened yet.

With so many teams desperate for goaltending, the teams who have an extra goaltender have put an insane price on all of them. Even the likes of Jake Allen and Karel Vejmelka are coming with crazy asking prices. This is why the Devils should just be patient.

We know, this is going to go over terribly with the fanbase, especially now. However, overpaying for a goalie isn't the right move. For one, the desperation will lead them to either a short-term option they overpay for or a long-term option with too much risk. Would you trade Mercer for Gibson? No, of course not. Well, then the Devils aren't getting Gibson right now unless they send a ton of assets to make up for one big one.

It's time to be patient. The Devils are fighting for the last playoff spot in the league. The Washington Capitals are not playing well, and the entire Atlantic Division is kind of falling apart outside the top two teams. There is time to be patient. The Devils can win with Nico Daws and eventually Akira Schmid. Vanecek is a problem, but the Devils can get creative to find a solution until a trade happens. Or maybe it won't, and the best route forward is to play with Daws and Schmid. Either way, a trade right now with a massive overpay is not the right way to go.

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