Mark Everson of the New York Post is speculating on a move the New Jersey Devils are going to make in order to accommodate the eventual addition of Ilya Kovalchuk’s salary. While there are many options the Devils could run with in order to fit under the salary cap in the wake of signing Kovalchuk (whenever that happens), Everson suggests that one of the team’s top centers is the guy that will go.
It’s difficult to fathom, but rumors are floating that Travis Zajac may be among the players the Devils will eventually sacrifice to get under the salary cap if Ilya Kovalchuk’s $100 million, 15-year contract is approved by the NHL.
Conventional wisdom suggests Bryce Salvador ($2.9 million) and Dainius Zubrus ($3.4 million) are the obvious candidates to surrender for the $3-5 million in cap space the Devils would need to clear by the start of the season if Kovalchuk’s deal is approved.
The one part of this that even makes any sense at all is that Zajac is the most attractive player to other teams that the Devils could move. Of course, giving up Zajac makes the Devils an older team up the middle and they’d be giving away a player who has really blossomed with the Devils.
They’ve got two players with obscene salaries that would immediately help the Devils salary issues if they were to depart in the aforementioned Dainius Zubrus as well as Brian Rolston (a $5.062 million cap hit the next two years). Of course, finding a team desperate enough to swing a deal for either of them would be nothing short of a miracle.
Finding a way to deal Zubrus would also give the Devils a chance to work prospect Jacob Josefson into the lineup. Dealing off Salvador would give Matt Corrente an opportunity to play or perhaps open the door to bringing back Mike Mottau. For now though, all we have is speculation but know that Kovalchuk signing will bring about change of some kind to the Devils roster.
Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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