A look at what could be in store this summer for the respective defense corps of the New Jersey Devils and Colorado Avalanche.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Tom Gulitti reports New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello faces some difficult choices this summer, including hiring the right coach, acquiring two scoring forwards and whether to trade his first-round pick for one of those forwards. The most difficult could be deciding whether to trade one of his promising young defensemen (Adam Larsson, Damon Severson, Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas, Steve Santini) to land a scorer. Of those blueliners, Gulitti speculates Severson might fetch the best return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello could also package one of those defensemen with his first-round pick for a scorer. However, if the Devils should win the draft lottery and jump into first overall, Lamoriello will undoubtedly retain that pick to select Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.
THE DENVER POST: Terry Frei reports this season could be the last for Colorado Avalanche defenseman Jan Hejda, who’ll be eligible for UFA status in July. The Avs will look to upgrade their blueline this summer and Frei believes the 36-year-old Hejda won’t be re-signed. Hejda is hopeful of having some talks with Avalanche management, who could wait to see what’s available for blueliners leading up to the start of free agency in July. Winger Jordan Caron could also be cut loose this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Hejda’s done in Colorado. Not that they’re unhappy with his performance, but they need to boost their overall defense and will seek younger, faster options.