ANA | BOS | BUF | CAR | CBJ | CGY | CHI | COL | DAL | DET | EDM | FLA | LAK | MIN | MTL || NHL UFAs | NHL Draft

NJD | NSH | NYI | NYR | OTT | PHI | PHX | PIT | SJS | STL | TBL | TOR | VAN | WSH | WPG || Kelowna Connection | Shea Weber | Leadership

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Devils to trade Zach, no, think other 'Z'

Zach Parise
Lou Lamoriello and the New Jersey Devils will once again in 2011-12 be faced with a tight squeeze to fit within the salary cap ceiling. That's because I fully expect Zach Parise back in New Jersey after being re-signed to a deal in the $6.5M per season range. It could be a arbitrators award, or the Devs and Parise may come to terms before the hearing date of August 3. Certainly, Parise does not sound as though he is looking forward to the hearing:  

"That’s what I’ve heard. I’ve never been through that. Maybe that’s some of the reason why no one wants to go (to arbitration). You don’t want it to get ugly. I don’t think the organization wants it like that and we don’t want it like that. Hopefully we won’t have to go through that. I don’t think any organization wants to cut down their own player."

Once Parise signs, Lou may be forced to shift some salary around, especially if 2011 fourth overall draft pick, Adam Larsson, makes the final roster, and Bryce Salvador returns from the severe concussion that ended his 2010-11 campaign very early on. Of course, the wild card is always another player going down with a significant injury which will provide LTIR cap relief.

Patrick Elias & Dainius Zubrus
Even without Salvador coming back, the emergence of a couple pivot prospects may further lubricate the dislodging of the most vulnerable 'Z' -- no not Zach or even Travis Zajac, but rather, one Dainius Zubrus. Zubrus could be surpassed on the roster by one or even both Jacob Josefson or Adam Henrique. Conveniently, Zubrus' contract does not include a No Trade or No Movement Clause.

Josefson already played over 20 games last season and should be able to manage upwards of 15+ minutes. Henrique only played one NHL game last season, but didn't look out of place at all. He also had a very solid season in the AHL. Fortunately for the Devils, if either falters (or the injury bug hits), versatile veteran, Patrik Elias can always be shifted over to center the second or third line.

New Jersey Devils
Left WingTOICenterTOIRight WingTOI
Zach Parise ($6.500m*)19:51 Travis Zajac ($3.887m)19:46Ilya Kovalchuk ($6.666m) 22:33
Patrik Elias ($6.000m)18:38Adam Henrique ($0.854m)13:21Nick Palmieri ($0.801m) 14:19
Mattias Tedenby ($0.875m)12:32 Jacob Josefson ($0.900m)13:14David Clarkson ($2.666m) 13:37
Vladimir Zharkov ($0.550m*)11:19Dave Steckel ($1.100m)11:52Rod Pelley ($0.550m) 11:48
Brian Rolston ($5.062m)17:36Dainius Zubrus ($3.400m) 17:09
Left DefenseTOIRight DefenseTOIGoalie
Henrik Tallinder ($3.375m) 22:32Anton Volchenkov ($4.250m)18:06Martin Brodeur ($5.200m)
Colin White ($3.000m)18:51Andy Greene ($3.000m) 22:21Johan Hedberg ($1.250m) 
Matt Taormina ($0.550m*) 20:40Adam Larsson ($3.000m*) rook
Mark Fayne ($0.542m)17:50
Buyout:Jay Pandolfo ($0.833m)
Buyout:Andrew Peters ($0.166m)
LTIR:Bryce Salvador ($2.900m)
Salary Cap$64,300,000
Cap Payroll$64,981,667Bonuses: $527,500
Cap Space-$681,67723-man roster
Courtesy and | * estimates

Where does Zubrus go? There are still NHL teams that after the first few days of UFA season, are still sporting a gaping hole down the middle, most notably, the Phoenix Coyotes. Finding it tough to attract UFAs to a franchise on the brink, and still about $3M from the cap floor, a trade may be the Coyotes' only hope. And Zubrus with his 40 point potential and massive frame, may just be the Timbit to fill the Coyote cavity.

Jacob Josefson
Adam Henrique
The return for Zubrus could be anything from draft picks to a roster player on a cheap two-way contract, or some combination. The roster players I would think that would be of interest on the PHX roster include forwards such as Viktor Tikhonov or Brett MacLean

Viktor Tikhonov
Brett MacLean
Both Tikhonov and MacLean are prospects on the cusp of cracking an NHL lineup. Latching on with a different organization may just be the tonic. Tikhonov maybe the preferable option since he can also play center, which is always a useful trait. MacLean, despite his slow first step, may have the higher offensive ceiling. He still as a year left on his ELC, while Tikhonov is an RFA, likely due nothing more than minimum NHL salaries -- thus, making their graduation to an NHL roster that much more convenient, especially for a cap ceiling team like the New Jersey Devils.

July 20, 2011 Update:
Adam Larsson's ELC came in much lower than expected -- about $925K per. In the projection above, his cap hit then is a couple million too high, which would then seemingly allow NJD to get some breathing room under the cap. However, the latest news concerning injured Bryce Salvador suggests he may be ready to go by the start of the season:
Bryce Salvador's long road back to the NHL gets shorter with each day he does not experience any symptoms. The Devils' defenseman told The Record he has been working out and skating with a group of players, including teammate Zach Parise, in Minnesota and that he is "optimistic" he will be ready for the start of training camp in September after missing all of last season with a concussion. "Everything is right on course."
So despite Larsson's lower cap number, Salvador's $2.9M cap hit being a factor again means someone will still have to go. Still looking over at you Mr. Zubrus -- the big cap hit with no NTC.

July 28, 2011 Update:
New Jersey trades Brian Rolston to NYI for Trent Hunter. This transaction results in a $3M cap savings for NJD, which means Dainius Zubrus and his $3.4M contract get to stay no matter what Parise signs for.

NYI gets its winger to replace Blake Comeau, who I think will be traded for a d-man, probably out west.

Rolston has an NTC, so he had to approve this deal before it could happen. By going to Long Island, he gets to keep his family in the NY Metro area (don't need to sell their house, kids get to stay in the same schools, etc.) And so, this deal is similar in concept to the Brendan Witt for Brian Rolston proposal of last year when Rolston was that much harder to trade.

July 29, 2011 Update:
@TSNBobMcKenzie Bob McKenzie Twitter: Parise's one year deal with NJD is worth $6M.

@TGfireandice Tom Gulitti Twitter: Parise's agent, Wade Arnott, said the focus was on avoiding Wednesday's hearing and a one-year deal was best way to do that."

@TGfireandice Tom Gulitti Twitter: Lamoriello on possibility of Parise leaving as UFA: "I don't think like that. We'll do everything we can and he has given every indication that he wants to remain a Devil."

@JawandaPuck JawandaPuck Twitter: Parise's short-term deal is also possible outcome for Shea Weber's pre-arbitration negotiation.

Aug 30, 2011 Update:
@TGfireandice Tom Gulitti Twitter: After missing all of last season with a concussion, Devils D Bryce Salvador says he's ready for start of training camp

No comments:

Post a Comment