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We're still in the quiet period of the off-season so, with that in mind, I figured I'd take some questions and share my thoughts on what we could see when things heat up in the coming months.
Let's get right to it.
Top pairing defensemen and high-end centers rarely become available so it's tough to ignore them when they do. I'm sure the Devils, like almost every team in the league, would check in if those guys hit the open market. They'd be dumb not to.
In saying that, both players will be ridiculously costly and I'm not sure it makes much sense for the Devils to table the kind of contract it'd take to get a signature.
They're not ready to seriously contend for the Stanley Cup. By the time they are, Tavares and Carlson would be on the wrong side of 30, declining, and carrying massive cap hits they're simply not worth.
I think those guys make more sense for teams currently in their window to win in a pay up, take your shot, and live with the consequences later kind of situation.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I really don't see the James van Riemsdyk to New Jersey thing happening. They already have Taylor Hall, Marcus Johansson, and Miles Wood on the left side. I'd be shocked if Ray Shero paid a premium for a position that doesn't even need to be addressed.
JvR turns 29 this week. Committing ~$6 million for six or seven years to a guy whose game will soon be heading south seems like a bad idea.
He also doesn't play much defense and getting the Will Butcher treatment (tons of offensive zone starts and favorable matchups) played a big part in him producing the way he did.
I like Anderson but, generally speaking, I think some people have expectations a little too high for him. He's a good, not great prospect. He's a really good skater and it's easy to fall in love with his non-stop motor but I don't think there is a *ton* of offense there. I think he'll probably settle in as a 3rd liner who can move up and down the lineup if needed.
It's possible he turns into a top-6 guy. I look at him as a 2nd/3rd line tweener. I know that's not going to get anyone out of their seat but it's not a big issue considering some guy named Nico Hischier has the top spot taken care of. If McLeod and Pavel Zacha, in whatever order, can handle the 2/3 responsibilities, that's fine. I think they'll be able to.
Not really. I mean, Pittsburgh could be considered one of the more physically soft teams in the league and they've won back-to-back Stanley Cups and are contenders once again.
Did Tampa Bay push New Jersey around at times? Sure. It's not like they had a ton of big, brute players out there throwing cheap shots all over the place, though. Their physicality was mostly a result of relentless forechecking and some of their smallest players (Yanni Gourde, for example) were the most involved.
I think New Jersey lost because Tampa Bay has better forwards, defenders, and goaltending. Not because the latter was more physical.
It's possible but I think Shero and co. will probably look elsewhere. The defense is clearly not good enough so I'd be surprised if they brought the band back together.
I think Moore will probably get a multi-year contract worth ~$3.75 million per season and that it will more likely come from another team.
I don't think they'll go into the draft feeling like they have to trade down but it's always an option. If they feel they can get a guy they really like a few spots lower, why not move down and recoup a 2nd or 3rd round pick?
The thing with trading Keith Kinkaid at peak value is he still wouldn't fetch much. Goalies teams have paid up for a little bit had much better track records than Kinkaid does.
Given Cory Schneider's struggles this past season, I'd expect them to keep Kinkaid around. And I'm fine with that.
Honestly, I wouldn't expect much moving forward. He is 25 years old and has tallied eight points in 49 NHL games over the last couple years. I see him as a really good AHLer and a rotational piece at the NHL level. He's not a guy who is going to move the needle.
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Notes on quotes from Ray Shero and John Hynes
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Setting the table for the off-season