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Report: Devils Dougie Hamilton OUT Until ‘At Least April, Early May’

According to a report, the Devils will put Hamilton on LTIR and gain $9 million in cap space.



New Jersey Devils

According to a recent report, the New Jersey Devils appear to be without their No.1 defenseman long-term. New Jersey announced earlier this month that Devils Dougie Hamilton was placed on injured reserve following a torn pectoral muscle. For now, he’s been placed on injured reserve, however, the belief is he’ll hit long-term injured reserve at some point.

On the latest TSN Insider Trading, Pierre LeBrun reports, “(The Devils) don’t have a firm timeline but my understanding is he’s probably out until the playoffs, until perhaps late April, early May. The flip side to that, they have a $9M cap hit to play with”

So it appears Hamilton will be out until at least the playoffs. From what New Jersey Hockey Now was told at the beginning of December, Hamilton’s injury is typically 4-6 months, so this checks out (not that LeBrun needs the confirmation).

In place of Hamilton has been Simon Nemec. The 19-year-old defenseman has been a revelation, playing large minutes for the Devils at such a young age. He’s risen to the occasion, too, although some rookie mistakes are to be expected.

Regardless, the Devils might be in the market for another defenseman as LeBrun stated. We’ve reported on Chris Tanev in the past and assume that’s still on the table. With Nemec’s arrival, the need for another offensive blue liner isn’t as urgent, especially with Luke Hughes playing well, too.

However, LeBrun also mentions the Devils could upgrade in net.

“They’ve already been doing their due diligence on the defense market,” LeBrun explains. “But they can also potentially add a goalie, they can add a couple of players that can help that roster with that $9 million.”

One of those goaltenders they’ve been looking at is John Gibson. Others will be available too, namely those in Montreal, and potentially Buffalo and Columbus.

$9 million is a lot of cap space to work with. Plus, general manager Tom Fitzgerald likely hasn’t placed Hamilton on LTIR yet so he can continue to accrue cap space and maximize how much he can spend when he decides to do so.

For now, Nemec and Hughes are keeping the Devils afloat. Ruff has been adamant the team needs to play better defense as a whole and their star players need to learn some better puck management. They can’t make any moves currently as the NHL Roster Freeze is active. Let’s see how long Fitzgerald waits until after the holidays are over.

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