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On de Haan, adding forwards, and cap space

June 28, 2018, 10:21 AM ET [28 Comments]
Todd Cordell
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On Calvin de Haan

Despite missing more than half of 2017-18 due to injury, the smooth skating left-handed defender is generating interest. A lot of it.

The amount of teams after his services could be in the double digits, according to TSN's Frank Seravalli​.

Given the interest, Craig Custance of The Athletic recently cited de Haan as a guy who could land a contract more lucrative than most would expect​.

He’s our candidate for signing the sneaky big contract that people didn’t necessarily see coming. He’s a legit top-four defenseman, coming off an injury-shortened season. He’s not going to put up huge numbers offensively, but he’s still just 27-years-old and there’s a lot of interest right now.

de Haan is a good skater who can chip in offensively. He's not a power play guy so the counting totals won't pop off the page but he's capable at 5v5. His underlying numbers in that game state are encouraging as well.

I'm not surprised de Haan is a popular guy right now and I'd be surprised if the Devils weren't among the teams involved.

They clearly need to upgrade on the left side, there isn't much out there, and cap space is a non-issue over the next few years. If the term is reasonable, there's no reason for them to sit this one out.

Moves up front

Secondary scoring was a big problem last season. So much so that Shero parted with futures in order to bring in not one, but two deadline rentals. I think they're letting Michael Grabner go and, based on the interest elsewhere, Patrick Maroon *could* also be moving on.

If that's the case, I fully expect Ray Shero to go out and get another forward or two. It's not realistic to bring back the same cast of characters that struggled to score consistently for 3/4 of the season and expect much to change this time around. The Devils need help if they're going to take another meaningful step forward.

Cap space

As I alluded to in the de Haan portion of the article, the Devils have plenty of money on their hands.

For argument sake let's say Miles Wood signs a two-year bridge deal at $2 million per, Blake Coleman signs a two-year deal at $1.75M, Stefan Noesen signs for two years at $1.5M, and Steven Santini re-ups on a one-year prove it contract worth $1 million.

The Devils would still have more than $18 million in space with 21 players under contract for next season. I doubt they'd spend it all – there's probably not enough talent available to warrant it – but that's enough to sign a defender like de Haan and, for example, take on Tyler Ennis' contract in order to lessen the cost of acquisition for a guy like Nino Niederreiter.

Financial flexibility opens up a lot of different paths for the Devils to improve. I know some are concerned by Ray Shero's inactivity thus far but I expect that to change in the coming weeks.

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