Follow me on Twitter @ToddCordell
Wednesday afternoon New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero spoke to the media for the first time in, well, a long time.
From Patrick Maroon, to free agent targets, to cap flexibility, Shero touched a wide array of topics.
I'm going to comment on some of the notables.
On Patrick Maroon
If I'm not mistaken, Shero said he offered Maroon *a lot* more money than he signed for in St. Louis, which isn't at all surprising. The Devils have a ton of cap space to play around with and could have doubled or even tripled his $1.75 million salary on a one-year deal without any repercussions.
Missing out on Maroon isn't the end of the world but a Devils team with secondary scoring issues certainly could have used a guy who has averaged 23 goals and 45 points per 82 games played over the last two seasons.
Nevertheless, Maroon left money on the table to play for his hometown team and spend more time with his son. You have to respect that.
On James van Riemsdyk
Despite a very solid crop of left wingers (Taylor Hall, Marcus Johansson, Miles Wood and Blake Coleman) the Devils were apparently among the teams to express interest in JvR.
JvR averaged 30 goals per 82 games over the last five seasons and is as reliable of a goal scorer as you'll find. He's a one-way player, though, and at 29 the start of his decline is likely imminent.
It's hard to blame Shero for not going above and beyond the $7 million annually he'll receive from Philadelphia.
On Calvin de Haan
This is really surprising to me. de Haan was easily the best defender on the market and would have addressed the Devils' biggest need of a left-handed top-4 defender. Though de Haan's numbers don't pop off the page, he skates well and is very reliable without the puck. He'd have been a great fit on a Devils team that likes to play with pace and is looking to become a little more sturdy.
I think the contract was very reasonable, too. The Devils gave a 2nd pairing defenseman in Damon Severson better than $4 million per for six years as a restricted free agent. I don't see why they'd have a problem paying (ideally) another 2nd pairing guy who received just a hair more than Severson, and for two fewer years, as an unrestricted free agent with more leverage.
On cap flexibility
On several occasions Shero hinted he could weaponize the team's cap space and noted there is still plenty of time to do just that.
At this stage I think the prime target is Tampa Bay. In order to acquire/extend Erik Karlsson they'd have to clear some salary.
The Lightning really want to rid themselves of Ryan Callahan's contract and the Devils *could* help them do that.
In saying that, I think they'd prefer using their financial might to get a piece that can help them now at a more affordable price. Someone like Tyler Johnson, a right-handed shot who has averaged 55 points per 82 games throughout his career.
Whether they're able to pull something like that off remains to be seen but Shero has made a habit of acquiring top-6 forwards from cap strapped teams (Kyle Palmieri, Marcus Johansson, etc.) in recent years. One would think he'd like to do so again.
The Devils need to add more secondary scoring
Devils have talked with Lightning about eating Callahan's contract
Reviewing the Devils' 2018 draft class
Devils get excellent value at 17 with Ty Smith
Miles Wood drastically improved in 2017-18