Newark, NJ – Despite finally locking down Jesper Bratt, GM Tom Fitzgerald has a busy summer ahead. Obviously, Timo Meier is the next big domino to fall as the team elected to take him to arbitration. However, there are nine other contracts that Fitzgerlad needs to get in order. One of those contracts is Yegor Sharangovich who may be headed for a breakup with New Jersey.
It’s business as usual for the Devils’ GM. Fitzgerald is evaluating his roster and determining his best path moving forward. After the Devils recorded their best regular-season in franchise history in 2022-23, he wants to ensure they don’t take a step backward.
“It’s business as usual. It’s called the offseason, the busy season for us,” Fitzgerald explained Friday morning. “We got a lot of RFAs, we’ve got some decisions to make on some UFAs. We have a big RFA (in Meier) that’s pending right now and we’re working towards an agreement in negotiation, so it’s business as usual. Patience, understanding, their side, our side, whoever that player may be. There’s no pecking order. All our players are important. Whatever piece they bring to the table is a very important piece. So we’ll just keep chipping away.”
Fitzgerald is chipping away and he just might chip one piece off the iceberg. According to Sportsnet insider, Elliotte Friedman, the trade chatter around Sharangovich is picking up.
“The Devils, I think, are still going to be pretty fascinating,” Friedman explained during the latest 32 Thoughts Podcast.
“The other player I’m wondering here about for the Devils is Sharangovich. I’ve heard there have been some talks picked up around him and someone told me don’t be surprised if you see something here.”
It makes sense. Sharangovich is a 25-year-old RFA that has a 20-plus goal season under his belt. When the Devils’ roster became a little congested last season, Sharangovich often found himself as the odd man out. Sharangovich wasn’t just a victim of circumstance, however. After breaking onto the scene in 2021-22 with 24 goals and 46 points, his 2022-23 was disappointing after he registered just 13 goals and 30 points.
“This season didn’t go the way I wanted it to go,” Sharangovich explained. “I’m going to work on myself this summer. I will change my preseason workouts on the ice because a lot of guys got to a new level. There’s a couple of new guys on the team and my ice time went down. My role has changed.”
Fitzgerald hasn’t been afraid to explore the trade market thus far. Damon Severson already saw his way out and to Columbus. Ryan Graves has also drawn interest around the NHL. Sharangovich could very well be next. As for the Devils GM, he’s done an excellent job so far of not allowing his assets to walk away for nothing. There’s little doubt that Sharangovich has trade value as a young, versatile forward with scoring ability. The Devils can certainly retrieve something valuable for him in return.
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