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Well the New Jersey Devils season is all but over. They are 12 points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with only 26 games left. Their 51 points put them in a tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs for 5th to last place in the entire league. This morning, the Toronto Maple Leafs made a trade sending promising young defenseman Cody Franson and center Mike Santorelli to the Nashville Predators for forward Ollie Jokinen, a first round pick in this year’s NHL Draft, and a second round prospect from last year.
Now why is this trade significant to the Devils? Well it solidifies that the Maple Leafs are giving up on this season and they have more games to play than the Devils do. It is time for General Manager Lou Lamoriello to stop being so blind to the fact that the team he has assembled this year has been terrible besides the goaltending. If Cory Schneider was on a winning team he would be in consideration for the Vezina Trophy, but because he does not get any goal support he loses games he honestly should not be.
So who do the Devils try to move at the deadline? The obvious choices are forward Jaromir Jagr, defenseman Marek Zidlicky, and the disappointing Michael Ryder. Any of these players would help any cup contenders. I would even be okay if the Devils retained a percentage of their salaries if it is easier to move them.
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Now what about some of the other players that could be traded? Tuomo Ruutu would definitely have some teams interested in a depth forward on an expiring deal. If Lou could work his magic and somehow move Dainius Zubrus, it would be the best thing he has done as GM since the Cory Schneider trade. The final person that could be moved and would without a doubt bring back a first round pick is Patrik Elias. Elias is the Devils all-time leading scorer and it would be a shame to see him in another jersey, but since he won’t be able to help the Devils reach the playoff this year, the least he could do is give us a promising prospect or a first round draft pick.
The goal for the trade deadline for the Devils is to stock up on picks and prospects because right now, they do not have many.