As the New Jersey Devils do a bit of scrambling to find another netminder to add to their roster, a few options are starting to present themselves. At the very least, they’re options outsiders believe will present themselves to GM Tom Fitzgerald who didn’t expect to lose Corey Crawford just weeks after signing him in NHL free agency.
No doubt, the Devils will be forced to roll with Mackenzie Blackwood as the club’s main goalie this season. From there, it’s about finding a backup. Head coach Lindsey Ruff said, “I know we’re aware of how well Wedgewood has played (in camp). He’s got some NHL games. The better he plays, the better days he has, that’s obviously what we’re looking for.” He also added that the team is keeping their eyes open, saying, “But we have had discussions on, ‘Is there a better solution? Is there a better guy?’
David Pagnotta of the Fourth Period writes that Scott Wedgewood is in place now to serve as the second-string goalie but adds with the roughly $8.46 million in available salary cap space the Devils now have, they could try to land another goalie via free agency or trade.
Pagnotte writes, netminders like Jimmy Howard remain available, Calgary’s Louis Domingue, Montreal’s Charlie Lindgren and Minnesota’s Andrew Hammond were among the goalies put on waivers Sunday. The Devils could also explore the idea of a player like Scott Darling who was released from his PTO with the Florida Panthers.
Is There Anyone Else?
If the Devils want to look into a trade, there are a few options (or bigger fish) that the team could look at. There were rumors of the Arizona Coyotes possibly moving a goalie this offseason and Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta’s names both popped up.
The Carolina Hurricanes might be looking to move one of their two pending UFA goalies — James Reimer and Petr Mrazek both have expiring contracts this season.
Consider however, as goalies fall and the taxi squad becomes increasingly important, teams won’t be so quick to move their second goalie knowing tandems will be critical and the third goalie also an important piece.
Other Devils News
In non-goalie releated news, the Devils have re-signed restricted free agent forward Jesper Bratt to a two-year contract worth $5.5 million, with an average annual value of $2.75 million.
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