It looks like the New Jersey Devils will go into a tough stretch with aches and pains, in more ways than one. In Michael Cammalleri’s case, there’s even a little comic relief (for your inner child, at least).
The Bergen Record’s Tom Gulliti shared a laundry list of updates, with most of the news being negative:
- The Devils assigned Damien Brunner (pictured) to the AHL, yet they might try to find a potential trade suitor. In the meantime, Gulitti notes that $1.575 million of the 28-year-old’s $2.5 million cap hit will count against the team’s cap even when he’s at the AHL level.
- New Jersey is concerned that Adam Larsson and Travis Zajac may have suffered from mumps, with Larsson still sick and possibly headed to injured reserve. Zajac’s a little banged up beyond whatever sickness he was dealing with, too.
- Patrik Elias is dealing with a groin injury, but frequent injury sufferer Martin Havlat may be able to play on Monday.
- Devils fans might need a chuckle at this point. Perhaps Cammalleri’s pulled butt muscle will suffice?
/Waits for inevitable Twitter handle @Cammalleributtmuscle
Last night, Damien Brunner recorded an assist in 11 minutes of action in New Jersey’s 5-3 win over Toronto.
Today, he’s on waivers.
The Devils placed Brunner on the wire Friday morning, this coming after he scored two goals and seven points in 17 games this season while averaging 15:09 TOI per game.
The 28-year-old Swiss winger has been in and out of the Devils lineup this year, never seeming to fully earn the trust of head coach Peter DeBoer. It’s possible New Jersey was also expecting much more from Brunner after inking him to a two-year, $5 million contract last season — since joining the Devils he’s scored only scored 13 goals and 32 points in 77 games, failing to replicate the success he had with Detroit in his first NHL campaign.
Brunner, you’ll recall, had 26 points in 44 contests during the lockout-shortened ’13 season, then proved to be one of the Red Wings’ most consistent scorers in the playoffs, going for five goals and nine points in 14 games.
As mentioned above, Brunner’s in the last year of a deal that carries an average annual cap hit of $2.5M. While he’s a intriguing potential pickup because of his offensive ability, that cap hit could prevent teams from scooping him up.
Scott Gomez is officially a Devil once again.
Gomez, who joined New Jersey during the preseason and has been practicing with the team ever since, agreed to a contract on Monday “because of the center situation,” per GM Lou Lamoriello.
The situation, you ask? Injuries to Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique, both of whom will miss the club’s upcoming road trip to Pittsburgh and Toronto. Forwards Martin Havlat and Ryane Clowe are also shelved with ailments, which has resulted in the Devils icing a makeshift lineup of:
Patrik Elias-Scott Gomez-Jaromir Jagr
Damien Brunner-Mike Cammalleri-Michael Ryder
Tuomo Ruutu-Jacob Josefson-Steve Bernier
Jordin Tootoo-Stephen Gionta-Dainius Zubrus
As alluded to in the headline, Gomez ain’t making the Devils any younger. New Jersey came into this season with the NHL’s oldest team — an average age of 31.0 — and the 34-year-old Gomez will bump that up a bit.
Gomez, who won two Cups during his eight-year (1999-2007) stint in New Jersey, also becomes the seventh Devils player born in the 70s, joining Jagr, Elias, Zubrus, Bryce Salvador, Marek Zidlicky and Scott Clemmensen.
Updated: Contract details, per Sportsnet…