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Tom Fitzgerald Trying to Re-Sign Devils Enforcer

Kurtis MacDermid has accrued five fighting majors in 2023-24, 50 penalty minutes.



New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils’ season may be coming to an end on Monday, however, General Manager Tom Fitzgerald’s work is just beginning.

On Monday’s MSG pregame broadcast, the Devils’ GM explained he’s currently trying to re-sign Devils enforcer Kurtis MacDermid.

“I’m trying to re-sign Kurtis MacDermid right now,” the Devils GM said. “I think he’s been a huge part of our group and has made these kids and any player a lot more comfortable on the ice. That’s part of hockey. Building around that core that we have with characteristics that can help our team moving forward.”

After the Devils went from a juggernaut in the 2022-23 season, they faced a major regression in 2023-24.

Along the way, Fitzgerald picked up enforcer MacDermid from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft (previously acquired from Nashville) and forward Zakhar Bardakov.

Let’s call a spade a spade here. MacDermid was acquired for one thing only.

To enforce.

And he’s done that, especially against the rival New York Rangers.

The story is well told by now. Rangers forward Matt Rempe ran a bit wild against the Devils, throwing illegal checks to both Nathan Bastian and Jonas Siegenthaler. Further, the former of the two seemingly hasn’t recovered since his run-in with Rempe.

MacDermid and Rempe starred in a line brawl on April 3rd at Madison Square Garden that ended in 166 penalty minutes between the two clubs by the end of regulation.

As Fitzgerald said, MacDermid has made his core players feel more comfortable on the ice, making the opposition think twice about hitting the likes of Jack Hughes or Nico Hischier.

Reflecting on the 2023-24 season, injuries played a factor in what derailed the season. It sounds like the idea is that a returning MacDermid should almost certainly help the Devils take fewer hits from the opposition which will hopefully translate to fewer bumps and bruises.

Plus, the Metropolitan Division doesn’t just have Rempe to worry about. The Philadelphia Flyers have Nicolas Deslauriers and the Columbus Blue Jackets have Mathieu Olivier.

Overall, Fitzgerald seemingly wants to ensure the Devils don’t get pushed around like they used to.

Having MacDermid will almost certainly help prevent that from happening.

MacDermid is in the final year of a two-year, $1.975 million contract. This season, MacDermid totaled two goals and an assist in 44 games between the Avalanche and Devils.

MacDermid also accrued five fighting majors this season and 50 penalty minutes.

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