What’s In Store This NHL Offseason For The New Jersey Devils?
The New Jersey Devils traded defenseman Andy Greene to the New York Islanders for prospect defenseman David Quenneville and a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. The Devils also shipped winger Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning for left wing prospect Nolan Foote and a conditional first-round pick (originally belonging to Vancouver) in the 2020 NHL Draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just over a week before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, Devils interim general manager Tom Fitzgerald is wasting little time getting started on rebuilding his roster. Greene and Coleman were recent fixtures in the NHL rumor mill.
Greene, the now-former Devils captain, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello knows him well, as Greene played for Lamoriello during his tenure as the Devils GM. He’ll bring invaluable defensive experience to the Isles’ blueline as they jockey for playoff positioning down the stretch. The 37-year-old rearguard also indicated he intends to continue playing next season. Perhaps he’ll earn a bonus-laden one-year deal with the Isles if he plays well.
Quenneville, 21, was a seventh-round pick by the Isles in 2016. He spent last season with their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport and this season with Worcester in the ECHL. The real prize for the Devils is the second-round pick, replacing the one they traded to Nashville last summer in the P.K. Subban deal.
Coleman, 28, is a versatile two-way forward with 21 goals this season, putting him on the verge of eclipsing last season’s career-high of 22. He’s no playoff rental, as he has a year remaining on his contract at an affordable annual salary of $1.8 million. This move is a bit of a surprise, as it was assumed the Bolts were more in the market for a defenseman with Ryan McDonagh and Jan Rutta on injured reserve. Nevertheless, Coleman will be a solid addition to their already deep forward lines.
The return for Coleman is better for the Devils than the one they got for Greene. Selected in the first round (27th overall) by the Lightning in last year’s draft, the 19-year-old Foote is the son of former NHL defenseman Adam Foote. He’s a promising scoring winger currently with the Kelowna Rockets. He tallied five points in seven games for Canada’s gold-medal team at the 2020 World Junior Championships.
The Devis also picked up the Canucks’ conditional first-round pick that the Bolts acquired last year in the J.T. Miller trade. They now have potentially three picks in the first round of the 2020 draft.
Updates on Henrik Lundqvist, John Carlson, Petr Mrazek and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
TSN: New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said he’s fully recovered from the knee sprain suffered while backstopping Sweden to gold at the 2017 Wolrd Championships.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers fans will breathe easier, though it remains to be seen if he can put last season’s inconsistency behind him and return to his usually dominant form.
CSN MIDATLANTIC: Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson believes the club’s recent offseason changes could be good for the team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most observers seem to disagree with Carlson’s take. They’re expecting the Capitals to decline this season.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Last season’s humbling performance by Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek should give him something to prove in 2017-18.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Two years ago, Mrazek was being heralded as the Wings starter, certain to push out veteran Jimmy Howard. Now, Mrazek will have to work hard to unseat Howard as the club’s starting netminder.
BSN DENVER: Adam Foote has left the Colorado Avalanche front office to spend more time with his family.
SUNSENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers alumni will play a charity game against Coral Springs first responders on Sept. 16.
TVA SPORTS: If Texas controversial “bathroom bill” is passed, could the NHL relocate the 2018 draft? It’s currently slated to be held in Dallas on June 22-23, 2018.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both the league and the Dallas Stars have strongly spoken out against the proposed bill. There’s no indication yet that relocating the draft will be considered if the bill is passed.