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Forums :: Blog World :: Todd Cordell: New Jersey Devils 2019-20 player profile: Travis Zajac
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Todd Cordell
New Jersey Devils
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 09.05.2011

Aug 8 @ 10:56 AM ET
Todd Cordell: New Jersey Devils 2019-20 player profile: Travis Zajac
Leniwm1
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Joined: 02.24.2015

Aug 8 @ 10:58 AM ET
I feel like looking at his career, he had a pretty small impact on the team and yet it'll be sad when he retires.
jmatchett383
Philadelphia Flyers
Location: Mantua, NJ
Joined: 03.09.2010

Aug 8 @ 11:12 AM ET
Wow, I didn't realize he's 34. Still seems like a kid.

Getting old sucks.
devilspep
Joined: 07.12.2009

Aug 8 @ 11:21 AM ET
He's a player people love to female dog about because of a cap hit and salary that never actually hurt this team. When he retires I think people will look more fondly at his career with the Devils. His impact will certainly be missed when he's gone.
Queenie_5_hole
New Jersey Devils
Joined: 05.01.2015

Aug 8 @ 12:34 PM ET
He's a player people love to female dog about because of a cap hit and salary that never actually hurt this team. When he retires I think people will look more fondly at his career with the Devils. His impact will certainly be missed when he's gone.
- devilspep


Lou Lams overpaid him as a panic move and he was never a great 1C; but he has been a fine Devil and a true asset to the team. Being able to play him down in the lineup has helped his career and there are certainly things Zajac does quite well.
jtylerm
New Jersey Devils
Location: Raleigh, NC
Joined: 07.13.2011

Aug 8 @ 12:52 PM ET
Anyone that thinks Zajac made no impact to this team doesn't actually watch hockey. At least not Devils hockey. People look at goal and assist counts and think those are the only worthwhile metrics. Meanwhile Zajac shuts down defensively the league's best offensive forwards on a nightly basis. He's aruguably one of the better penalty killers of his time. And he only had Parise and Kovy (neither lasted long) his whole career that were any good. Yeah now he team is getting stacked, but he's an old dude now.

Zajac is the unsung hero of this franchise and deserves a lot more respect than most people give him.
Cmor11794
New Jersey Devils
Location: Short Hills, NJ
Joined: 01.07.2014

Aug 8 @ 1:18 PM ET
First piece of Devs gear I ever bought back in the day was a Zajac away jersey. Still have it today. He's consistently been one of the most important players on this team, and with some of the flak he's caught over the years you would think he was making 10m not 5.7. While he is a known commodity at this point, I wouldn't be surprised if he matches or even beats last years counting totals given all the other pieces this team can now put out there, even on the shutdown line. He's been a loyal soldier during all the down years, hopefully he gets paid back for it with some sustained team success as he winds down a great career.
Queenie_5_hole
New Jersey Devils
Joined: 05.01.2015

Aug 8 @ 2:00 PM ET
First piece of Devs gear I ever bought back in the day was a Zajac away jersey. Still have it today. He's consistently been one of the most important players on this team, and with some of the flak he's caught over the years you would think he was making 10m not 5.7. While he is a known commodity at this point, I wouldn't be surprised if he matches or even beats last years counting totals given all the other pieces this team can now put out there, even on the shutdown line. He's been a loyal soldier during all the down years, hopefully he gets paid back for it with some sustained team success as he winds down a great career.
- Cmor11794


Zajac signed the contract in 2013 and Salary structure was a lot different then. For perspective the Devils had signed Kovy for hefty $ 6.66M just a few years earlier. The same time Jeff Carter was making $ 5.27M.
jtylerm
New Jersey Devils
Location: Raleigh, NC
Joined: 07.13.2011

Aug 8 @ 2:06 PM ET
Zajac signed the contract in 2013 and Salary structure was a lot different then. For perspective the Devils had signed Kovy for hefty $ 6.66M just a few years earlier. The same time Jeff Carter was making $ 5.27M.
- Queenie_5_hole


I think the point is, Zajac's contract has never hurt the Devils. Not for 1 day. We never missed out over the years on adding talent b/c we had Zajac's $5.7M in the way. For all the many positives he brings, why even bring up his cap hit when it's had zero negative effect?
Queenie_5_hole
New Jersey Devils
Joined: 05.01.2015

Aug 8 @ 3:23 PM ET
I think the point is, Zajac's contract has never hurt the Devils. Not for 1 day. We never missed out over the years on adding talent b/c we had Zajac's $5.7M in the way. For all the many positives he brings, why even bring up his cap hit when it's had zero negative effect?
- jtylerm


The team use to have a very large payroll and the league actually got involved because of the financial difficulties. Ultimately a sale was completed to Apollo group, the current owners. One of the first things Apollo did was slash the payroll and we've been one of the smallest payrolls in the league for the last couple of years.

So while certainly not all on Zajac, the ownership change is very much tied to the teams financial performance. Overpaying people cost real money that can be used either for payroll or elsewhere like marketing the team. To say overpaying Zajac hasn't hurt the team for 1 day seems unlikely.

And regardless, overpaying a 2C while having him skate as your 1C for years certainly didn't help anything.
WayneZ
New Jersey Devils
Location: Im officially ready for the Subbanator, VA
Joined: 01.28.2008

Aug 8 @ 3:32 PM ET
I have a Zajac jersey, i won't lie. I think the general discontent with Travis has everything to do with the mess Lamoriello created towards the end of his tenure and nothing to do with Zajac's performance or production. Lou couldn't/wouldn't acquire a true 1C. Hell, in a perfect world he would have acquired a 1C and a 2C and slotted Travis in as a bonafide shutdown 3C role. Instead he shoe horned a guy into a position that didn't match his skill sets and then questioned his lack of productivity. I'm certainly guilty of jumping on the Zajac hate wagon from time to time, but when it comes to defensive situations that have no room for error, who else in NJ do you want on that ice? He has been a good soldier for NJ, and when he leaves, I'm hoping Zacha can fill his role. Just my $0.02
jtylerm
New Jersey Devils
Location: Raleigh, NC
Joined: 07.13.2011

Aug 8 @ 3:57 PM ET
The team use to have a very large payroll and the league actually got involved because of the financial difficulties. Ultimately a sale was completed to Apollo group, the current owners. One of the first things Apollo did was slash the payroll and we've been one of the smallest payrolls in the league for the last couple of years.

So while certainly not all on Zajac, the ownership change is very much tied to the teams financial performance. Overpaying people cost real money that can be used either for payroll or elsewhere like marketing the team. To say overpaying Zajac hasn't hurt the team for 1 day seems unlikely.

And regardless, overpaying a 2C while having him skate as your 1C for years certainly didn't help anything.

- Queenie_5_hole


The ownership change was because Vanderbeek was a moron and made Lou go for moves like signing Kovy to a stupid contract. Vanderbeek was another idiot wall street guy pretending to be richer than he really was.

Thank god that ownership change was made! And while it didn't help paying him that much, it didn't hurt either!
MartysBetter88
New Jersey Devils
Location: 94Nevermore, NJ
Joined: 07.01.2010

Aug 8 @ 4:48 PM ET
This page is like an obituary for Zajac.. a memorial. The guy isn't dead. Hope he has a great season.
bikeguy99
New Jersey Devils
Joined: 09.05.2017

Aug 8 @ 5:29 PM ET
He's a player people love to female dog about because of a cap hit and salary that never actually hurt this team. When he retires I think people will look more fondly at his career with the Devils. His impact will certainly be missed when he's gone.
- devilspep


Agreed. Also, he was used as an offensive C, when his true calling is being a shutdown and pk specialist. He is great in that role! Unreal in the face-off, no drama, trains and plays hard. I would love to see him as our Captain in what will likely be his final season 2020-2021.
bikeguy99
New Jersey Devils
Joined: 09.05.2017

Aug 8 @ 5:38 PM ET
I have a Zajac jersey, i won't lie. I think the general discontent with Travis has everything to do with the mess Lamoriello created towards the end of his tenure and nothing to do with Zajac's performance or production. Lou couldn't/wouldn't acquire a true 1C. Hell, in a perfect world he would have acquired a 1C and a 2C and slotted Travis in as a bonafide shutdown 3C role. Instead he shoe horned a guy into a position that didn't match his skill sets and then questioned his lack of productivity. I'm certainly guilty of jumping on the Zajac hate wagon from time to time, but when it comes to defensive situations that have no room for error, who else in NJ do you want on that ice? He has been a good soldier for NJ, and when he leaves, I'm hoping Zacha can fill his role. Just my $0.02
- WayneZ


Lou was certainly questionable in his final season or two with the Devs, and what he has done with the Islanders is unrecoverable. They look like the Red Wings did 2 years ago. They have WAY too much cap and term committed to veteran players. Why give 31 year old Varlamov a 4 year, 20M deal after a steady decline? Who else was even considering offering the guy a 2 year deal? I have questioned all of his signings since moving to the isles. Nelson, Lee, Eberle, and Komarov totaling 26.5M, all inked for 3+ seasons and highly likely to see their numbers decline immediately! Their remaing 7M, plus whatever the cap is raised by will likely go into Barzals next contract. They will simply get worse each of the next 3+ years. Hopefully easy points for the Devs!
Pomegrant
New Jersey Devils
Location: NJ
Joined: 01.18.2010

Aug 8 @ 7:07 PM ET
This page is like an obituary for Zajac.. a memorial. The guy isn't dead. Hope he has a great season.
- MartysBetter88

I agree. He's a crucial part to the success of this team because of the hard minutes he plays against top competition.
shvingter88
New Jersey Devils
Location: How have you not heard of your boy, CT
Joined: 10.12.2009

Aug 9 @ 10:00 AM ET
The ownership change was because Vanderbeek was a moron and made Lou go for moves like signing Kovy to a stupid contract. Vanderbeek was another idiot wall street guy pretending to be richer than he really was.

Thank god that ownership change was made! And while it didn't help paying him that much, it didn't hurt either!

- jtylerm

Vanderbeek was too much of a fan and couldn’t let the gm do his job
Queenie_5_hole
New Jersey Devils
Joined: 05.01.2015

Aug 9 @ 10:51 AM ET
Vanderbeek was too much of a fan and couldn’t let the gm do his job
- shvingter88


I met Jeff Vanderbeek when we drafted Adam Larsson. He seemed like a good guy who just wanted to build a better team. He seemed to think Kovy's star power would make the team more relevant and successful; and kind of was in 2012 before the exodus or Parise, and then Kovy and Clarkson.

As much as I love Lou Lams, letting him do what he wanted probably meant bringing a bunch of aging vets and grinders; so I'm skeptical the team would have been more successful letting him do his job as GM at that point.

Regardless we are now a different team with new owners a new GM, almost entirely new players, coaches and hopefully a bright future.

GO DEVILS!
shvingter88
New Jersey Devils
Location: How have you not heard of your boy, CT
Joined: 10.12.2009

Aug 9 @ 12:12 PM ET
I met Jeff Vanderbeek when we drafted Adam Larsson. He seemed like a good guy who just wanted to build a better team. He seemed to think Kovy's star power would make the team more relevant and successful; and kind of was in 2012 before the exodus or Parise, and then Kovy and Clarkson.

As much as I love Lou Lams, letting him do what he wanted probably meant bringing a bunch of aging vets and grinders; so I'm skeptical the team would have been more successful letting him do his job as GM at that point.

Regardless we are now a different team with new owners a new GM, almost entirely new players, coaches and hopefully a bright future.

GO DEVILS!

- Queenie_5_hole

You mean DOOMED
Pomegrant
New Jersey Devils
Location: NJ
Joined: 01.18.2010

Aug 10 @ 2:02 AM ET
I met Jeff Vanderbeek when we drafted Adam Larsson. He seemed like a good guy who just wanted to build a better team. He seemed to think Kovy's star power would make the team more relevant and successful; and kind of was in 2012 before the exodus or Parise, and then Kovy and Clarkson.

As much as I love Lou Lams, letting him do what he wanted probably meant bringing a bunch of aging vets and grinders; so I'm skeptical the team would have been more successful letting him do his job as GM at that point.

Regardless we are now a different team with new owners a new GM, almost entirely new players, coaches and hopefully a bright future.

GO DEVILS!

- Queenie_5_hole

Jeff did let Lou do whatever he wanted but did see that the team needed a marketable super star. Then Jeff ran out of money and sold the team so that's that.
Gio's Devil's
New Jersey Devils
Joined: 05.17.2019

Aug 10 @ 11:00 PM ET
Have no clue how u can say faceoff's aren't important. Faceoff's determine possession therefore a lost faceoff is a turnover. How many shots are taken & goals scored directly off a faceoff won?? Defensive faceoff's don't usually lead to much but it keeps their offense from being set up in the zone already, it can't lead to an immediate shot against, & even if we dump it out of the zone we can create turnovers & make it hard on a zone entry. Faceoff's become crucial on special teams. If u can win 1 on the PK u can immediately clear it & eat up time. If your on the PP in the Ozone you can immediately set up & maximize shot opportunities. That's just crazy to me to hear faceoff's aren't important