The New Jersey Devils made a major move to get under the NHL
salary cap Sunday by sending suspended defenseman Vladimir Malakhov
and a conditional first-round draft pick to San Jose for defenseman
Jim Fahey and the rights to left wing Alexander Korolyuk.
The deal will save the Devils $3.6 million on their cap --
Malakhov's salary -- and it probably won't cost New Jersey much
because Korolyuk will play in Russia again this season and Fahey
might not make the roster.
With the NHL season scheduled to open this week, Devils
president and general manager Lou Lamoriello has been desperate to
make some moves to get under the NHL's $44 million salary cap.
Lamoriello would not say whether the Devils will have to make
more moves before the season opens on Friday in Carolina against
the Stanley Cup champion Hurricanes.
With the extra cash, the Devils re-signed restricted free agent Brian Gionta, sources told TSN on Tuesday. The right wing scored a team-record 48 goals last season.
"We'll take it one thing at a time," Lamoriello said in a
telephone call from his office in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Devils were pushed over the cap limit this summer when they
signed forward Patrik Elias to a seven-year, $42 million contract --
a $7.5 million contract this season -- and center Scott Gomez was
awarded $5 million by an arbitrator.
The Devils, who also signed Jamie Langenbrunner in the
offseason, also owed Malakhov and forward Alexander Mogilny some
$7.1 million this season, even though they will not be on the team.
They were signed as free agents last season, but they were dropped
from the roster for poor play.
Mogilny was sent to the minors. Malakhov, when faced with the prospect of being sent to the minors, first decided to retire, then changed his mind and rejoined the team. The Devils then suspended Malakhov for abandoning the team.
Since they were both over 35-years-old when they signed last
year, their salaries counted against the Devils' salary cap.
Mogilny was placed on the long-term injury exception list Tuesday, clearing $3.5 million in salary cap space for the Devils.
The NHL informed the Devils that Mogilny qualified for the exception because the chronic hip injury that may force him to retire occurred while he was playing for New Jersey last season, team spokesman Jeff Altstadter said.
The 30-year-old Korolyuk had 19 goals and 15 assists in 45 games
for Vityaz Chekhov in Russia. He last played in the NHL for the
Sharks in 2003-04.
"We're getting an exceptional hockey player who could play for
us next year," said Lamoriello, who refused to reveal the
conditions placed on the first-round pick sent to the Sharks.
Fahey appeared in 21 games for the Sharks last season and had
"We'll have to take a look at him," Lamoriello said of Fahey.
The 38-year-old Malakhov had four goals and five assists in 29
games with the Devils. He has played in 712 NHL games with the New
York Islanders, Montreal, New Jersey, the New York Rangers and
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.