Newark, NJ – Between the second and third period of Saturday night’s Stanley Cup Final match, Elliotte Friedman dropped a tidbit about New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson. According to the Sportsnet insider, the Devils could very well trade Severson’s negotiating rights before he hits unrestricted free agency on July 1st, and teams such as the Columbus Blue Jackets called the Devils about Severson’s rights.
“Damon Severson, (he’ll be) a free agent,” Friedman explained on a Sportsnet broadcast. “The Devils made the decision to keep him for the deadline. Look, they wanted to go for the playoffs, they won a round, I think we understand the decision. I think teams have asked ‘if you can’t sign Severson, will you trade us his rights?’ and the answer is not “no.”
Severson has spent his entire nine-year career with New Jersey. He admitted at cleanout day that he’d like to remain in New Jersey. However, the 28-year-old defenseman has no idea what is going to happen in terms of being able to re-sign or not.
On Wednesday, Friedman shared an update on teams that called New Jersey regarding Severson’s rights.
“Columbus here, they’re looking for defense,” Friedman explained on an episode of 32 Thoughts the Podcast. “They are out looking hard for defense. For example, one of the things I heard, we mentioned on Saturday night’s show. Teams were calling the Devils seeking permission to either talk to Severson or trade for his rights. I think Columbus was one of those teams thinking about that too.”
Not that Friedman needs any validation, but a source indicated to New Jersey Hockey Now that Columbus did in fact reach out in regards to Severson. However, when the Blue Jackets learned they could acquire Provorov who was already under contract for two more seasons at a $4.725 cap hit, they pivoted in that direction instead. The Blue Jackets still have interest in Severson, regardless.
It makes sense, too. Severson is possibly the most valuable name that is headed to the open market. Frank Seravalli of DailyFaceoff projects Severson to make upwards of $6 million on a six-year contract.
The situation remains fluid, but as of right now the Devils and Severson don’t have a deal in place. Teams are calling for his rights, and his future in New Jersey is largely in question.