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Report: Devils in Market for ‘Stabilizing Defenseman’

With the emergence of Simon Nemec replacing the injured Dougie Hamilton, Devils focus remains on stabilizing defenseman.



New Jersey Devils

It should be no surprise that the New Jersey Devils are in fact in the market. The Devil goaltending The Devils’ goaltending hasn’t quite been up to snuff and most are calling for an upgrade over Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid. However, a report suggests that the Devils are instead in the market for a stabilizing defenseman.

New Jersey’s No.1 defenseman, Dougie Hamilton is on the shelf, potentially long-term. As a result, the Devils have recalled former second-overall pick Simon Nemec to fill his role. Nemec has fit in quite well with New Jersey despite a small sample size. However, his strong play suggests that he might not look back to the AHL. Therefore, general manager Tom Fitzgerald doesn’t need to make a move for someone to replace Hamilton‘s services.

According to ESPN insider Kevin Weekes, “Everybody in the neighborhood of New Jersey is asking the same question. ‘What’s gonna happen? Who are we gonna get?’ Well, fortunately, they were able to get Simon Nemec, their former second-overall selection who was down in the AHL. But, now in the case and the absence of Hamilton, they want somebody that’s a stabilizer, that’s a physical defenseman that can block shota. Perhaps that is Chris Tanev.”

The Calgary Flames have already traded Nikita Zadorov to the Vancouver Canucks. Tanev is the next defenseman who is reported to be on the move at some point as the Flames are opting for a new look. Tanev is certainly a responsible defensive defenseman who would surely help keep the puck out of New Jersey’s net.

Perhaps Ilya Lyubushkin from the Anaheim Ducks is a name to turn to as a defensive-minded blue liner should the Tanev situation not come to fruition. Sean Walker in Philadelphia as well.

Tyson Barrie was another name Weekes mentioned as a possibility, however, that seems to be more of a plan B approach if Nemec doesn’t work out. Barrie is an offensive-minded defenseman who can run a power play. He’s not all that defensive and salary would be a hurdle. It doesn’t sound like the interest in Barrie is strong, if at all at this point.

New Jersey Hockey Now reported a few weeks back that the Devils were interested in adding to their blue line. Due to Nemec’s emergence, it appears Fitzgerald is staying on track with finding a more defensive-minded blue liner than offensive.

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