PFT- While nothing is imminent, the New Jersey Devils’ decision to buy out Dainius Zubrus has set the table for them to make a trade or free agent signing.
“It really wasn’t about Dainius himself,” Devils GM Ray Shero told The Record. “It was more about the roster spot/flexibility moving forward. … If something comes along and we don’t have a roster spot – not so much the 23-man roster, but up front in terms of let’s say you’re carrying 13 forwards, 14 forwards and you don’t have any spots – then you can’t do anything.”
Call me a pessimist, but I am skeptical. No, I am not skeptical of whether buying out Zubrus was the right move for the franchise going forward. I am definitely not skeptical of the direction Ray Shero seems to be going in retooling this roster. On the contrary, what I am skeptical of is the fact that I am not at all skeptical. It doesn't feel right. Saying from the get go that below average players like Steve Bernier, Bryce Salvador, and Peter Harrold wouldn't be brought back? Drafting a fast, scoring forward with a high ceiling? Acquiring a young, cost controlled right winger for a couple mid-round draft picks? Signing Adam Larsson to a long, team friendly contract? Buying out Zubrus? Saying that his spot will potentially be filled by another acquisition at forward? This all seems to good to be true. Like if they had put out a poll as to how Devils' fans wanted to see this offseason shake out, Lamoniello's departure excluded, this is exactly what the majority would have voted for. I feel like I am in the middle of a dream where everything I think inevitably happens. It's like I am the General Manager of the New Jersey Devils, and I got to say, I feel a little uncomfortable being the heir to the thrown of a legend.
Give me a terrible signing Shero. Just one. Something that would be the proverbial 'pinch' that will awake me from this alternate reality. Not some anchor of a contract, but maybe a 2 year deal for a declining scorer that doesn't fit the system (does Michael Ryder have a twin brother in the league)? Maybe an over-the-hill defenseman that's going to take playing time away from the young nucleus of defenseman the Devils have battling for an NHL roster spot (is Volchenkov's contract up yet)? Just a single move that reminds me that I am not actually in sole control of your brain. One trade to show me that my overly opinionated ass isn't qualified to run a professional sports team. You keep making the correct decisions and you'll keep encouraging pompous assholes like myself to continue to be outspoken about the direction of the New Jersey Devils. Don't do it for me, but do it for anyone and everyone that has to associate with me. The last thing I need is someone in my corner that actually knows what they are talking about. I was unbearable enough when I was wrong, I shutter to think what will happen if I start being right.