NJ.com- Leading up to Monday's 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline, the Devils seemed to be set after making their one move on Thursday to acquire forward Michael Grabner.
But general manager Ray Shero continued to talk, and the price on one of their targets dropped -- allowing them to acquire forward Patrick Maroon from the Edmonton Oilers before the closing bell.
"This was more of a 'last 10 minutes' basically," Shero said. "Patrick Maroon we know well, he was on our list. But with any player that was available, there's a certain price point asset-wise that we're comfortable with. That price seemed to come down, and that third-round pick is in 2019, so we have 16 months to recoup that, or if Anaheim re-signs Adam Henrique, we can get their pick."
Perhaps I am giving Ray Shero a little too much credit for doing his job. After all, monitoring the market, weighing risk versus reward, finding value, and keeping in mind future ways in which assets can be recouped all pretty clearly fall under his umbrella as General Manager. He deserves praise for keeping himself dry as almost all of the moves made under said umbrella have made for brighter days, but he's not exactly going above and beyond the call of duty by tossing a bunch of lines in the water to see what bites on trade deadline day.
Well, that is, unless you compare him to a bunch of his peers who basically went fishing in a shallow pond with a stick of dynamite by lighting the fuse on their first round picks in a deep draft. I thought Ray Shero paid a pretty fair price for two rentals However, relative to what other executives desperately shelled out, he basically left a couple pity draft picks next to the bodies after clubbing opposing negotiators over the head and nabbing two guys who have scored a collective 93 goals since the start of last season. Proactively getting Grabner for a second and a player who is years away from seeing American ice was a good deal, but beating the clock to reel in Maroon for a third and someone whose most notable attribute is a warm body was a great deal. The Devils can admittedly afford to tread more lightly seeing as they are still rebuilding, but an ability to avoid getting swindled has become as much of a rarity in NHL front offices as it has become a staple of Ray Shero's management strategy. That bodes well for the future of a team that went from hopeless seller to bargain buyer in the span of no more than one year. Their architect is a shark, and - considering how poorly some NHL teams are being run - there's a lot of blood in the water.