New Jersey Devils make it official, sign Brett Pesce to a six-year deal

The heavily rumored deal between the New Jersey Devils and former Carolina Hurricanes' defenseman Brett Pesce looks to be as close to official as possible.
Carolina Hurricanes v New Jersey Devils
Carolina Hurricanes v New Jersey Devils / Elsa/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils have been tied to Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce for about two weeks. On the first day of NHL Free Agency, the deal we all expected to be was confirmed. Pesce signs a six-year deal with an average annual value of $5.5 million.

This is a really good deal for the Devils and Pesce. The theme of free agency this season is term on everyone, so for the Devils to get Pesce for six years before he turns 30 has to be considered a win. Even if it's a year or two too many, a $5.5 million cap hit is not hard to move.

Pesce is a fantastic two-way defender who will replace John Marino, who was traded to the Utah Hockey Club during Day 2 of the NHL Draft. The rumors then were that he was going to get $6 million or more on this deal. To come in at $5.5 million is a huge win for Tom Fitzgerald and the Devils.

The New Jersey Devils signed Brett Pesce to a reasonable contract on Day 1 of NHL Free Agency.

The Devils had a rough year on the blue line last year. Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec were learning their way in the big leagues. Dougie Hamilton was lost for the year on December 1st. Jonas Siegenthaler and Marino took six steps back.

Now, the Devils look like they are in great shape on defense. Pesce will be the shutdown guy, and he is flexible with where he plays. Despite being right handed, he has played on the left side before. In fact, he did it with Dougie Hamilton in Carolina. He can also be a calming presence next to Hughes for the next six years.

While the Devils didn't yet get the forwards they were hoping for, the defense is in fantastic shape. Pesce signing turns out to be a slam dunk, and it should be a celebration in Newark.