The Devils are another day closer to their day of roster reckoning, and even as Lou Lamoriello addressed the topic with the media yesterday, he is still silent as to the team’s ultimate intentions.
According to Tom Gulitti’s Fire and Ice blog, the Devils GM did not answer questions yesterday as to whether ownership was comfortable with paying significant money to an NHL veteran in order to keep them in the AHL. He likewise declined to say if he had asked any of his players to waive their no-trade or no-movement clauses.
Lamoriello did speak on the weight of the decisions ahead, and the factors that make such choices particularly hard.
“First of all, you know the respect I have for the players and their families,” Lamoriello said. “It’s a combination of not only the player, but his personal life. Anyone who is not affected by that shouldn’t be in this business. And the day that it doesn’t bother you when you have to make those decisions you should get out on your own. But you also have a responsibility and we all know what those responsibilities are. Tough decisions have to be made and, unfortunately, they’re not going to be liked by everybody. But (they’re never made) without the sensitivity what it does to families.”
It’s expected, though not certain, that D Bryce Salvador will join Anssi Salmella and start the season on long term injured reserve, allowing the Devils a cap overage in the amount of the average yearly salaries of those two players (roughly $3.5 million). That leaves the Devils shorthanded in the personnel department however, with just 11 forwards for Friday's opener. While a roster of that size could buy the team some time, it seems unlikely that’s a workable solution over the 82-game, injury-filled grind of an NHL season.
It seems more likely that someone on the current roster will be either waived or traded, and one or more of the several players sent down yesterday (Mattias Tedenby and Jacob Josefson among them) will be recalled before the start of the season.
The team site wonders if the “ZIP” line of Travis Zajac, Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise could produce the first 50-goal, 100-point scorer in Devils history. Kovalchuk has topped the 50-goal plateau twice, but never 100 points. And for the record, I still prefer "The Money Line" handle for this trio.
In Lou We Trust analyzes yesterday’s roster cuts.
The Post wonders if the Devils will gamble on a 20-man roster.
Mark Everson previously noted that the waiting game is weighing on the players.
The Star-Ledger writes about the Parise’s take on the Kovalchuk acquisition.