The New Jersey Devils are parting ways with Dainius Zubrus.
The club made the announcement today, saying that the 37-year-old forward had been placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract.
Zubrus was set to make $3.1 million in 2015-16, after which he would become an unrestricted free agent. He had just four goals and six assists in 74 games last season.
The Devils did not say they were buying out Zubrus, only that his contract was being terminated. New Jersey would not have received cap relief anyway if it was a buyout, as Zubrus’ contract was of the 35-plus variety. The team would have saved around a million bucks in actual salary, however.
It’s possible there was a mutual agreement to terminate Zubrus’ contract, a la Damien Brunner in 2014.
Update: It’s a buyout:
The Devils were afforded an additional buyout window as they had two arbitration cases this offseason.
New Jersey Devils blueliner Adam Larsson has been a disappointment at times, especially to those who took the Victor Hedman comparisons a little too seriously.
Still, he finally showed flashes of brilliance once he was “liberated from Peter DeBoer’s prison for young defensemen,” as Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski wrote. Apparently the Devils saw enough to sign him to one of those deals that stands as risky today, but could be brilliant down the line: six years, $25 million.
Again, considering his production at this point, a $4.167 million cap hit seems a little steep. Larsson’s just 22 right now – he’ll turn 23 in November – so it isn’t crazy to ponder a significant leap. Defensemen take longer to develop, after all.
Devils GM Ray Shero definitely seems to think that the young Swede’s best days are ahead of him, as the Bergen Record notes.
“I think he’s only scratched the surface of the kind of player he’s going to be,” Shero said. “There’s a reason he was drafted when he was. He’s got a lot of experience already. He’s played a lot of ice time on the (penalty kill) and 5-on-5. He hasn’t had the chance to play a lot on the power play, yet.”
Shero believes the contract stands as a “good deal for both sides,” as Larsson gets a long-term deal while the Devils buy three of his unrestricted years.
Ultimately, though, we’ll probably look at it as either an overpay for a somewhat disappointing prospect (selected fourth overall in 2011) or a brilliant steal for a player who finally hits his prime.
In other words, if things work out, the Hedman comparisons might not be so outrageous after all.
The New Jersey Devils and defenseman Adam Larsson have avoided an arbitration hearing scheduled for next week after the two sides came a deal announced Saturday.
The Devils announced via Twitter that they re-signed the 22-year-old blue liner to a six-year contract, worth a total of almost $25 million. According to the club, the new deal comes with an annual average value of $4,166,666.67.
Larsson’s salary breakdown under this new deal includes $2.5 million this season, before earning $5.05 million and $5.1 million, respectively, in the final two years of the deal.
Last week, Devils GM Ray Shero was confident the two sides would be able to figure out a new deal, perhaps even before they were to go to arbitration.
Last season, Larsson, taken fourth overall in the 2011 NHL Draft, posted three goals and 24 points — career highs for him — in 64 games, leading all New Jersey defensemen in points.