Tag: New Jersey Devils

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Lamoriello’s departure removes any doubt: Devils are Shero’s team


Lou Lamoriello becoming the Toronto Maple Leafs’ new GM wasn’t just a surprise to New Jersey Devils fans. Executives didn’t see it coming, either.

Principal owner Josh Harris told the press that he found out “very recently” that Lamoriello wasn’t happy about a power-sharing situation with new GM Ray Shero.

“When you’re used to having absolute control of an organization… it was a different situation,” Harris said of Lamoriello, according to the Newark Star-Ledger’s Rich Chere.

Shero is the new sheriff in town

Speaking of absolute power, it sounds like Shero will clearly be the man in charge, rather than dealing with more of a transition with Lamoriello as president. Harris said that he doesn’t feel the need to hire a new team president after this stunning departure.

Shero admitted that he was “surprised” that Lamoriello left for Toronto.

What’s next for New Jersey?

While Harris made the typical overtures about the team being willing to spend, it indeed sounds like the franchise may play it tight and rebuild:

As far as team-building goes, this is quite clearly Shero’s unquestioned regime now, but some other executive matters may be a collective effort.

Harris admits that he’ll miss Lamoriello, yet maybe pictures like these provide a decent argument that it might be best for everyone to remove such a looming, overwhelming presence. At least if they want to make some changes:

source: AP
Via AP

After missing one deadline, Devils and Zacha hope to sign deal before the next

Pavel Zacha

Keep an eye on negotiations between New Jersey and ’15 first-rounder Pavel Zacha over the next three weeks.

Zacha, the only top-10 European draftee that’s yet to sign his entry-level deal, has already missed one key deadline and is now facing another in mid-August, per The Record:

As part of the agreement between the NHL and the European professional leagues, any 2015 draft pick under contract with a European club had to be signed by 5 p.m. on July 15. With Zacha contractually committed to Liberec in the Czech Republic’s Extraliga for 2015-16, it remains unclear how the Devils and Stefan missed that deadline.

As first reported here last Thursday, the Devils must now pay a $100,000 transfer fee directly to Liberec to extend the deadline to 5 p.m. on Aug. 15. If Zacha isn’t signed by then, however, he cannot play in the NHL before the 2016-17 season.

When I asked [player agent Patrik] Stefan on July 15 about the deadline and Zacha’s contract status with Liberec, he stated, “There is no contract.” Stefan confirmed Zacha’s Liberec contract today, however, and explained his answer last week as a misunderstanding.

“I was only saying that there was nothing preventing Pavel from signing from the Devils,” Stefan said.

Zacha was taken sixth overall in June. The other top-10 Euros — Ivan Provorov (seventh, Philly), Timo Meier (ninth, San Jose) and Mikko Rantanen (10th, Colorado) — have all inked their entry-level deals.

Zacha, 18, impressed onlookers at New Jersey’s recent prospects camp, to the point where some have suggested he could start next season in the NHL.

“I thought he was fantastic,” Shero told the Bergen Record. “That was the feedback we gave him today. I think that was from the entire staff. Very professional, very mature.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the size and strength to play in the bigs right now — all that remains is getting that contract signed. Shero didn’t seem to think it would be much of a problem, saying there were no “red flags” with regards to the negotiations.

“There’s nothing that’s going to stop us from signing Zacha,” Shero explained. “All I’ll say is we’re continuing to try to work on something with Pavel Zacha.

“If and when there is a deal that makes sense for both parties, we’ll sign it.”

Ah, arbitration: Holtby reportedly asking for $8 million, Caps countering at $5.1 million

Braden Holtby

Braden Holtby is proposing an $8 million salary.

The Washington Capitals are suggesting $5.1 million.

That’s according to CBC Sports reporter Tim Wharnsby, as the the two sides are scheduled to go to arbitration on Thursday.

Now, obviously, Holtby doesn’t really expect to get $8 million, just the same as the Caps don’t expect to get the 25-year-old goalie for a bargain $5.1 million. That’s just how arbitration works. Each side makes the strongest case it can.

The NHL’s highest cap hit for a goalie belongs to Henrik Lundqvist, at $8.5 million. And hey, the Holtby camp could argue* that Holtby actually has the same career save percentage as Lundqvist (.921).

Of course, the Caps could point to Cory Schneider having a .925 career save percentage, and his cap hit is only $6 million.

According to the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt, in regular negotiations, the Caps were offering around $5.5 million while Holtby was asking for $6.5 million.

*As noted in the comments, only comparables that cover RFA years can be used in arbitration. But the point stands: Holtby has very good career numbers. If not Lundqvist, he could argue he deserves what Sergei Bobrovsky, 26, will make in Columbus next season.