Newark, NJ – Happy Fourth of July, folks! Considering it’s only four days into free agency, there’s still plenty of time this summer for moves to be made. The New Jersey Devils have remained relatively quiet limiting their moves to just depth acquisitions. However, after locking up their own, there wasn’t much of a need to go out and spend big on free agency. Looking at their roster compared to the rest of the league, New Jersey has become favorable in the eyes of many. That includes Sportsnets Elliotte Friedman who named the Devils Stanley Cup contenders.
“They’re a Stanley Cup contender,” Friedman explains to Jeff Marek on 32 Thoughts the Podcast. “Not only are they a Stanley Cup contender, but they’ve also done a really good job of tightening their cap situation for a while. Their highest-paid player, AAV, is (Dougie) Hamilton at $9 million. (Timo) Meier makes $8.8 million. (Jack) Hughes makes $8 million. (Jesper) Bratt makes $7.875 million. (Nico) Hischier makes $7.25 million. These guys are all locked in. Dawson Mercer is going to be an interesting (contract). He’s got another year. But none of these are going to be bank breakers. So their cap situation is very good.”
Friedman went on to question the Devils’ goaltending. Will they run it back with Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid? Or will general manager Tom Fitzgerald look to upgrade in goal? According to Friedman, Schmid “showed something this year.” The Sportsnet insider believes Schmid can take another step next year as a key breakthrough player next season. Another key breakthrough player Friedman mentions is Alexander Holtz.
“This is a Stanley Cup contender,” Friedman says one more time. “Not only that, but with the way they’ve done their (salary cap), they have a chance to be a Stanley Cup contender for years to come.”
That’s a lot of positivity to digest.
Let’s get to some news.
New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Hockey Now: We checked in with The Athletics Dallas Stars reporter, Saad Youseff, for the skinny on Colin Miller. He explains what the Devils are getting in the veteran right-shot defenseman.
NJ Advance Media: Via the NHL Network, former Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko says that the Hurricanes are still the “team to beat” in the Metropolitan Division.
National Hockey Now
Colorado Hockey Now: Unfortunately for Jonathan Drouin, he hasn’t quite been able to settle in since being drafted into the NHL. He’s looking for a fresh start in Colorado with former Halifax Mooseheads teammate Nathan Mackinnon.
San Jose Sharks
San Jose Hockey Now: The newest members of the Sharks spoke to the media recently. Anthony Duclair opened up about his friendship with Joe Thornton. Mackenzie Blackwood is looking forward to a fresh start. And Fabian Zetterlund explains how Erik Karlsson has mentored him.
Philly Hockey Now: The Flyers signed veteran defenseman Marc Staal to a one-year, $1.1 million contract. PHN explains why Staal signed up to play for a rebuilding roster.
Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Hockey Now: The Red Wings explained they have high hopes for top prospect Simon Edvinsson. However, they’re not ready to write his name in ink in Detroit’s lineup and say he needs to earn his place.
Chicago Hockey Now: The Red Wings waived former first-round pick Filip Zadina on Monday. Should the rebuilding Blackhawks take a flier on the Czech forward in a low-risk, high-reward situation?
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