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Boulton surprised, disappointed to be waived

With Monday's trade deadline two days away and teams trying to clear space for potential acquisitions, the Devils have placed tough guy Eric Boulton on waivers.

Boulton, who has 76 penalty minutes (including six fighting majors) in 36 games for the Devils this season, said he was informed by Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello before practice Saturday.

Boulton, who will stay with the team assuming he clears on Monday, said he was "very surprised" by the move and disheartened by the decision.

"I feel like I'm a big part of this team, on the ice and in the locker room. "All the players know that." Boulton said. "Obviously it's disappointing to be put on waivers. Hopefully it doesn't change anything here and I'll be here the rest of the year."

The 35-year-old Nova Scotia native, signed to a two-year, one-way deal, carries a cap hit of $662,500. Because of the weekend 48-hour waiver rule , any team looking to clear cap space or a roster spot in advance of Monday's deadline must place a player on waivers Saturday.

The Devils got a leg up on the flurry of trade activity, acquiring disgruntled Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky from Minnesota Friday in exchange for defenseman Kurtis Foster, forwards Nick Palmieri and Stephane Veilleux, and two draft picks (a second-round pick in 2012 and a conditional pick in 2013).

With Zidlicky's impending arrival, the Devils sent defenseman Peter Harrold back to Albany (AHL).