Even Kool-Aid-sipping Devils superfans will probably admit that the Devils have a ways to go, which means GM Ray Shero likely won’t be shy to make more trade calls.
So, with that in mind, here’s some advice to other general managers: you might be making a deal with the devil when you trade with the Devils.
Let’s look at some recent Devils trades (from the end of the Lou Lamoriello era to Shero’s early days):
- In 2014-15, they turned the last months of Jaromir Jagr‘s contract into one second-round and one third-round pick. During that same deadline, they grabbed a third-rounder for Marek Zidlicky.
This past deadline, they got nice production out of PTO success Lee Stempniak and then turned his expiring contract into a second-rounder and a fourth-rounder.
- Picks haven’t always been going New Jersey’s way, but when they give up theirs, they’ve been getting guys who end up sticking with the team and strengthening the core.
Most prominently, the Devils sent a first-rounder (eventually Bo Horvat) to Vancouver for Cory Schneider. They managed to re-sign him for a reasonable price, locking up one of the NHL’s rare elite goalies. All apologies to Horvat, but that’s a big win for the Devils.
Kyle Palmieri seems like another great trade addition, albeit not on the Schneider scale.
Sending a 2015 second-rounder and a 2016 third-rounder away to Anaheim seems like a perfectly fair price for Palmieri, a player who figures to be a top-six forward for the Devils for some time.
- Of course, this summer featured the blockbuster Taylor Hall trade.
Yes, losing Adam Larsson hurts, but the end result is another big win for New Jersey.
No doubt, there have been some growing pains in Newark. That said, the transition from Lamoriello to Shero is looking awfully positive, and trades likely play the biggest role in that brighter outlook.
So, other GMs, practice this line when Shero or an associate calls you: “That’s a great trade offer, but let me think about it.”
Or maybe just block any call from a New Jersey area code, just to be safe.