The New Jersey Devils should be a seller as the trade deadline nears, but how active might Ray Shero be on that front?
Darren Dreger had a Monday afternoon radio hit on Edmonton’s TSN 1260, and was asked whether he thought the 18-23-7 Devils - currently occupying last place in the Metropolitan Division - should be where they are in the standings.
“I didn’t think that they were going to take this big of a step back,” reflected Dreger. “But I also thought that last year was a bit of an anomaly and overachieving.
“So in saying that, I did expect that they would come back down to earth and struggle a bit more than what they did last year, but I didn’t think that this year was going to be as trying as it’s turned out to be. Some of it is injury-related, obviously specific to Taylor Hall. Their goaltending has been wildly inconsistent.
“And up until very recently, it was believed that Ray Shero might be among the more aggressive and active general managers between now and the trade deadline. And we’re going to have to see whether or not that’s the case.
“One thing for sure is given his history, if Shero doesn’t like something or he sees the opportunity to add a piece or pieces, then he’s going to do that. He’s done that historically.”
It takes partners with whom to trade, obviously, and it’d be interesting to know what’s been going on behind the scenes. It was less than a few weeks ago, on January 10, when Dreger conveyed that he was “getting the sense the New Jersey Devils are real close to moving out some pieces,” but that’s kind of how the trade game goes in the NHL.
Elliotte Friedman, incidentally, was asked to touch on the Devils at the end of last week. Looking ahead, he passed along his thoughts on how when it comes to Taylor Hall - who has this season and next left on his contract - he doesn’t think the Devils will allow themselves to get into the same position as the New York Islanders were with John Tavares..
Hall is winding down a seven-year, $42 million contract, and will be eligible to sign an extension as early as July.
The veteran winger can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly