New Jersey Devils: Juuse Saros Deal Will Be Way Too Expensive

The New Jersey Devils just squeaked out a win against Juuse Saros on the second half of a back to back. Despite the rumors, he won't be leaving the Nashville Predators anytime soon.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74)
Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
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The New Jersey Devils have had good goaltending for the three most recent games. Nico Daws was exceptional playing both sides of a back-to-back. Vitek Vanecek shut out the Carolina Hurricanes for more than 60 minutes this past Saturday. That effort has resulted in five points in the last six games, That includes a huge win against the Nashville Predators.

The Devils were on the second half of a back-to-back. Their record on back-to-backs is insanely bad. Yet, Nico Daws fixed those problems on Tuesday. The Devils dominated the game from the start, hitting 22 shots on net in the first period. Despite trailing for most of the game, the Devils beat the Predators in regulation for the first time in over a decade.

Despite the loss, Juuse Saros was great. He stopped 43 of 46 shots. The Devils finished the game with 22 high-danger chances, according to Natural Stat Trick. Saros was peppered, and he eventually led the damn fall by the wayside while his team failed to beat Daws in the third period.

It's no surprise that the Devils would be interested in Saros. We've seen these small stretches of good play from Vitek Vanecek and Nico Daws. It doesn't always last. Do you know who can do it with consistency? Juuse Saros.

There are reports from Sportsnet that Juuse Saros can be had for the right deal. Obviously, if a goalie is available, the Devils and Tom Fitzgerald will be calling. For the longest time, it felt like Saros was a pipe dream. He's still 28 years old, and the Predators don't seem to know what they want. They do have Yaroslav Askarov, and he seems ready for the big leagues.

This is how Saros becomes available. That, and the reportedly insane prices that are available. With John Gibson, Jacob Markstrom, and Jake Allen calling for massive overpayments to move, the Predators didn't want to miss out on this action. Saros is clearly the best of those four.

The best of anything is going to require the highest price. Price is one of the main reasons a deal for a goalie hasn't happened yet, not just for the Devils but for everyone. The Flames, Ducks, and Canadiens are asking for major prospects, young NHL stars, AND a first-round pick. It's just not worth it with the risks involved. However, Saros might be worth it. His age and contract ($5 million per season for this year and next year) make him a perfect move for a team looking to contend now and in the future.

And that price is going to be huge for the Devils. Only two players will move the Predators to make a deal, and the Devils likely have no interest in moving them. Dawson Mercer is the first. He's had his name thrown around a lot this season, and for some reason, some of the fanbase has soured on his performance. Yet, he's had 15 goals this season. He's never missed a game in his career. He had 27 goals last season, and he's worked himself out of his early-season slump. He shouldn't be traded for anyone short of a young, sure thing with way more than just a year and a half on his contract.

The other piece is Simon Nemec. He's been great for the Devils since being called up in December. He's a right-handed defenseman, which is incredibly valuable. He immediately transitioned into the NHL at just 19 years old. It's very possible Nemec could have a quality career for two decades from now. Is it worth it to risk acquiring a great goaltender who might leave at the end of next year for a defenseman with control for a minimum of six years?

Neither move makes sense, and we think the Predators will just wait until the offseason if that number isn't met. The Devils shouldn't meet that number. They have a lot of pressure to succeed this season, but it shouldn't move Tom Fitzgerald to make a bad deal. Of course, if it brings a Stanley Cup to New Jersey, there's no such thing as a bad deal, but there's no guarantee of that. Plus, Mercer and Nemec could be a part of multiple Stanley Cup cores. It's just not the right deal, and it's not the wrong time.

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