Devils GM’s goal: sign major free agents before July 5

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One look at the New Jersey Devils’ salary structure and it becomes clear that GM Lou Lamoriello has a lot to work to do this summer. The long-time executive told the Bergen Record that the goal is to lock up a bevy of players before the free agent period kicks in on July 5.

“In my opinion, they have to be done before that,” Lamoriello said.

The Devils’ list of free agents is staggering. Here are some of the most noteworthy names:

Unrestricted

Patrik Elias
Dainius Zubrus
David Clarkson
Marek Zidlicky
Peter Harrold
Steve Sullivan
Alexei Ponikarovsky
Tom Kostopoulos

Restricted

Matt D’Agostini
Jacob Josefson
Adam Henrique
Andrei Loktionov

Lamoriello said that D’Agostini isn’t likely to be re-signed and the same is true for Sullivan (who is reportedly “mulling over” retirement). Ponikarovsky seems to be a lower priority consideration while he claims that all RFAs other than D’Agostini will be locked up.

It could be a bumpy offseason for the Devils, especially if they decide to make other decisions about their future. (Both of their aging goalies only have one more year left on their contracts, for instance.)

As far as the draft is concerned, Lamoriello said he’d prefer to land a scoring forward.