3 Devils Who Must Be Traded

The laugh is on Lou now.(Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

After New Jersey was crushed by the Montreal Canadians 6-2 on Saturday night at the Bell Centre, the looming trade deadline cannot continue to be ignored. Even with the Devils going an impressive 8-3-2 in their last 13 games, they remain 12 points out of a playoff spot. At some point within the next week, New Jersey will need to make a decision on what their plan is for the rest of the season.

We are already seeing teams like Toronto, and Arizona committing themselves as sellers. By doing that, it gives other teams more time prepare official offers for them. Whether or not GM Lou Lamoriello needs the time, he needs to assess every possible situation with a close eye before making moves.

The first plan on his agenda should be identifying the pieces on his team, which can be moved. These players may not jump off the page, but they are players New Jersey needs to clear themselves of so other, younger players can take their place. So to help out a bit, here are my three New Jersey Devils who must be traded by the March 2nd deadline.

#1 Mark Fraser or Peter Harrold

It will be interesting how much Lamoriello could get back for either of them, but we have seen playoff-bound teams grab a bottom-end defensemen for insurance in the past. The main reason they should be dealt though is because Eric Gelinas needs to play. I’m not sure the coaching staff has against him, but plays like Fraser made against Montreal epitomize why Gelinas should be in the lineup over him.

What makes everything stranger, is Gelinas has four goals and 11 points on the season while Harrold and Fraser have four points combined.

If the Devils aren’t able to move Fraser, then definitely Harrold, even for a low pick. Gelinas’ skill-set allows him to do everything Harrold can, but better. Whatever the Devils decide to do, if either Fraser or Harrold can bring back any kind of asset, make the move.

#2 Dainius Zubrus

Firstly, Zubrus isn’t on my list specifically because of the high-stick he took against P.K. Subban, which quickly afterwards, Montreal scored two power play goals 59 seconds apart. Zubrus is on my list because no matter how popular he is in the locker room and among the fans, he’s just not producing.

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Zubrus has two goals, seven points, and is a minus 6 on the season. What makes him valuable though is his playoff-like style of play. The playoffs are all about grinding out your opponent, enforcing physical dominance, there’s a reason L.A. as won two Stanley Cups in three years. Zubrus is the kind of character guy that every playoff-bound team looks for when acquiring that extra piece at the deadline.

The problem that may scare away teams is his cap situation. Zubrus is making $3.1 million this, and next season. If Zubrus was a UFA at the end of the season then it would be a different story. I like Zubrus a lot, he’s been a great Devils since he arrived, but there are times when you have to move on for the betterment of the team.

#1 Jaromir Jagr

It’s hard not to love the guy. We’ve watched him break records since he joined New Jersey at the start of last season. He’s great in the locker room, with the players, and the media. However, Jagr’s situation is very similar to that of Dainius Zubrus, except the value returning would be much greater.

To make a quick analysis of what Jagr may be worth; in 2013, Jagr was traded from Dallas to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Lane MacDermid, Cody Payne, and a conditional second-round pick which became a first-round pick with Boston advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals.

What makes trading Jagr so interesting is because of his age. Jagr will turn the rip-old age of 43 on February 15th, and would be a pure rental if he were to be traded. No doubt some of the teams that would be interested would be the likes of Anaheim, Detroit, Montreal, Pittsburgh, maybe even Nashville if GM David Poile decides to go all-in.

One thing we do know is Lou will trade Jagr to a place where he has the best opportunity to win a Stanley Cup. Jagr’s owed at least that much for dedication he’s showed towards the Devils organization over the past two season.

12 points is a lot of ground to cover, and 30 games isn’t a lot of time to do it in. It may not be in Lamoriello’s DNA to sell off at the deadline, but with Connor McDavid possibly at the end of the tunnel, he may just have to push his DNA aside for a month or two.

Who do you think New Jersey should trade?

13 thoughts on “3 Devils Who Must Be Traded”

  1. absolutely Zajac. The time has come for the Devils to admit that Zajac’s contract was a terrible mistake. Year after year we wait for this kid to produce but he doesn’t. He’s been paid like a 1st line center but is nothing more than a 3rd line center.

  2. wow!what a year ? i am suffering with this team,i don’t know where to start? we need a serious clean up that for sure .must go right now; RUUTUU,HAROLD.SALVADOR.RYDER,CLOWE.ZAJAC,AND LOU.

  3. While I do agree that the Devil’s should start to get rid of some of the dead wood they are carring around. they do hav e some young players who have to learn the NHL game. it’s not easy, but they will learn an be a better team for it. some of the current favorts will have to go to make room for the future. Isn’t it about time that Lou Fired himself.??

  4. Ryder (Hertz), Clowe, Fraser, Zajac, Zubrus, Salvador, Jagr. Look at the Isles. You could see the youth coming 2 years ago. And, I hate to say it, the STrangers. Add the veteran role players later on when you are making a run. How were the Devil’s Cup teams compared to whats on the ice now. Not just player wise, those guys were SPECIAL. Where is the young corps ? If they don’t become young soon we’ll be back to the Mickey Mouse days. Don’t see Cup material with what has been brought in over the past 3 seasons. Too much climbing to do to make the playoffs this year. I don’t see the STrangers, Bruins, or any of the leaders dropping out. They’d need to fall of the face of the Earth for the Devs to do that big a “leap frog”, an it ain’t gonna happen !

  5. die hard devils fan since they came to NJ. i think if the devils somehow get a top pick… like philip puleo said lou won’t draft an offensive player…NONE THE LESS pay a top draft pick $$$. so that draft pick will leave in 3-5 years for the NYR anyway who will give him all the $$$ he wants. besides the players listed Jagr,zubrus,harrold or fraser ( i have played ice hockey for 17 straight years and even i have made that play fraser made…sometimes the puck doesn’t come off your stick like you wan’t it!) other players needed to be gone are ryder,clowe,havlat,ruutu and for sure zajac (for what he is getting paid 8g 9a is UNNACEPTABLE!!) tootoo can go also and even zidlicky & salvador if you want.
    i am tired of this team being old,playing a terrible style and still not being an offensive team! i was at the 7-2 win vs st louis last season i think that was the last outburst of scoring this team has had!
    sell them all let the kids learn, let the kids make mistakes, let the kids grow NOW!

  6. i think they should trade the PA announcer at the rock. he makes it sound like a lower minor league game with that stupid ‘dainius zuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuubrus’ crap after every goal.

  7. guess what, even if God blesses us and gives us the 1st pick overall in the draft, lou will still not draft an offensive player with that first overall pick… that pick would be wasted on another defensemen, because he has always believed building from the goalie out… guess what Lou…. that only works when you have marty brodeur between the pipes.. when you have a normal goal tender putting up 1 or two goals isnt’ gonna cut it in the league anymore. lou just doesn’t understand it… he believes in building defense and free agent offensive band aids (ahhhemmm mike cammaleri, jagr)…

  8. I don’t know if you watch any of the Devils’ games, but Eric Gelinas doesn’t deserve to be in the lineup. I don’t like Peter Harrold as a starter, but I do like him as a 7th defenseman. Gelinas has continued to make the same mistakes and has been a defensive liability, which is particularly troubling because he is a defenseman. Yes he has a killer shot from the point, but he is terrible on defense. The only thing Devils’ fans can hope for is that he gets confidence with experience and progresses like Larson did last year, but Gelinas has proved over the last 2 years that he hasn’t developed as fast as coaches hoped. The biggest omission from this list is Michael Ryder. He has been a healthy scratch the last 8 games and has been awful.

    • Thanks for the comment firstly and trust me, there are more players then just Ryder I could have thrown on this list haha. The facts on Gelinas are valid, I would just rather have him on the ice than Fraser. I agree that Harrold is a nice 7th defensemen and that part is more directed towards Fraser. In general though, even if its not Gelinas, hopefully Damon Severson will come back and shove them out of the lineup.

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