With the way the New Jersey Devils have been playing as of late, they have gone from looking like sellers at the trade deadline to instituting a hold pattern on the trade front. The Devils are only 10 points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern conference, and their strong second half run looks like it might keep the team together.
There has recently been a rumor flying around that the Devils were interested in acquiring defenseman Sheldon Souray, who was put on re-entry waivers by the Edmonton Oilers. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has refuted this report in the Bergen Record. Souray has played 26 games for the AHL’s Hershey Bears, putting up 13 points in that span. The Devils would be better off staying away from the 34-year-old Souray and letting their younger defenseman continue to develop.
The Devils player who continues to be mentioned in various trade rumors is Jason Arnott. Arnott has a no-movement clause in his contract, so he is in position to control what happens regarding any trade. He is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, so the Devils will have to decide whether or not they want to keep him around or attempt to get something for him in a trade with another club. It will be up to Arnott to decide whether or not he wants to move to a team that is a definite contender, or continue on with the Devils who are battling for the final playoff spot in the East.
The Devils recent winning ways have put the players in a positive mindset, and they hope that as the wins continue to come, the team will stay intact.
“I certainly hope there’s no moves in this dressing room,” Brian Rolston told the Bergen Record. “We have good chemistry in here right now. We’re playing together well as a team.”
Goaltender Johan Hedberg echoed Rolston’s sentiments.
“I don’t think any one of us want to break up this group of the guys that are in here,” Hedberg said. “We believe in what we’re doing right now and believe that we can do it together. I haven’t really put too much thought into it. It was more when we were really struggling that we realized that the organization was in a different stage.”
If the Devils continue to rack up the points in pursuit of the playoffs, you have to believe that Lamoriello will keep this team together. Lamoriello has not been dormant on the trade front, as he made a trade with the San Jose Sharks to bolster depth in the AHL. The Devils sent forwards Patrick Davis and Michael Swift to the Sharks, and in return received defenseman Jay Leach and forward Steve Zalewski.
Right now, the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” really applies to the Devils at this point in the season. The Devils are playing great hockey and their team chemistry is the best it has been all year. As long as they continue to climb in the standings, it seems unlikely that the Devils will be active at this year’s trade deadline on Feb. 28.
About the Author
Written by Matt Pellicane
I am currently pursuing a master's degree in Journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. I graduated from Quinnipiac in May 2010 with a bachelor's degree in print journalism. While at Quinnipiac, I covered various sporting events on campus for the online newspaper The Quad News. I was born and raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey and have been an avid sports fan all of my life. I am a fan of the New Jersey Devils, New York Giants, New York Yankees, and the Boston Celtics.