New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero sure is getting a lot done on “Hump Day.”
Not long after the team announced a contract for Jiri Tlusty and tryout for Tyler Kennedy, the Devils also shared news that winger Lee Stepmniak is getting a professional tryout contract.
This comes as some surprise, as much of the scuttlebutt pointed to Stempniak trying to land a spot with the Boston Bruins.
Of course, he could still end up in a Bruins uniform to start the 2015-16 season, depending upon how things work out.
The Devils may opt against giving him a full deal (or leave too much money on the table), opening the door for the Bruins or another NHL team to acquire Stempniak.
The 32-year-old’s numbers have taken a slight dip lately, but to be fair, he’s been bouncing around the NHL quite a bit the past two seasons. Perhaps he can gain some stability by playing well during this month?
As training camps approach, Jiri Tlusty stood out as “the guy who wouldn’t accept a PTO.” Perhaps it makes sense, then, that he made a deal with the (New Jersey) Devils?
The team announced that they signed the 27-year-old to a one-year, one-way contract on Wednesday.
New Jersey didn’t reveal financial details, but multiple sources including the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti report that it’s worth $800K.
No doubt about it, that’s a bargain.
That wasn’t the only interesting move the Devils made heading into camp, either, as they also handed Tyler Kennedy a professional tryout contract today.
It’s an interesting situation, as one must ask: is Tlusty (pictured) much more deserving of a guaranteed deal than Kennedy, or even more deserving at all? Perhaps it simply comes down to Tlusty saying “full contract or bust,” while perhaps Kennedy was a little more malleable?
One would guess that Kennedy, 29, would get a reasonable shot at making the Devils. If anyone knows how capable he can be as a depth forward, it would be GM Ray Shero, who watched him skate alongside Jordan Staal for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Neither Tlusty nor Kennedy should be seen as the difference-makers who would push the Devils to contender status, yet they may very well make New Jersey a little peskier.
Despite his brief stay with the Pittsburgh Penguins, defenseman Christian Ehrhoff is willing to roll the dice on another one-year contract.
Ehrhoff’s agent, Rick Curran, told PHT in an email that the 33-year-old unrestricted free agent “doesn’t mind having the flexibility of a single year commitment. He’s confident in his ability to provide a valued role to the right team. If there’s a mutual fit, an extension will likely follow.”
Ehrhoff signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Pens last summer, not long after being bought out by the Sabres. After registering just 14 points in 49 games, in addition to suffering multiple concussions, it may be a one-year deal is the most he’ll be able to get anyway. (He’s apparently been give a “clean bill of health.”)
Curran insists “there’s continued serious interest” in both Ehrhoff and another UFA client, forward Jiri Tlusty.
“I would expect the log jam to clear a little once teams have a better handle on signing their remaining RFA players and know how much they have left in the till to spend,” wrote Curran. “Meanwhile, both players are content to remain patient until an appropriate offer hits the table from someone who will obviously be the right fit.”
Related: UFA of the Day: Christian Ehrhoff