Ilya Kovalchuk is now a full fledge member of the New Jersey Devils. Complete with no-trade clauses and a number of years that’ll make me middle aged when it expires, he is coming back to the states and gearing up for the pre-season.
But in the depths of Lou Lamoriello’s brain, an evil is stirring. He must ax one or two players to make up what is believed to be between $3 and $6 million that the team is currently over in the Salary Cap.
To make matters slightly worse, the Devils are only at 21 players, and the league requires them to have signed 23 for the start of the season on October 8th.
A number of high profile players currently sit with no-trade and no-movement clauses making them safe, including players such as Patrik Elias, Brian Rolston, Zach Parise and Travis Zajac.
Who’s free to go? The top choices currently being speculated are Dainus Zubrus and Bryce Salvador. They have the most salary and would give the Devils the wiggle room they need to clear the current cap limit, and have enough left over to sign the remaining players they need to make up the league required 23 man roster.
There is a great deal of speculation that Brian Rolston may be asked to wave his no-trade clause so the team may dispense of him and his salary, but both Rolston and his agent have denied the team coming to them to discuss such options.
The Devils can continue to operate in their current state, but everything must be within league specifications by midnight on October 8th, the start of the season.