I'm not going to lie to you. As excited as I am about the prospect of Damon Severson blossoming into two-way, top-4 defenseman on the Devils' watch, him signing on the dotted line didn't exactly have me bumping my skull on the ceiling. After all, hearing that the only young, proven member of your defense came out on the other side of restricted free agency unscathed is kind of like hearing that the foundation of the house you're building managed to survive a windstorm. That's not to take away from how imperative it was to lockup Damon Severson long term, but it's not so much great news as it is an avoidance of demoralizing news.
Now, doing so at a figure that is almost guaranteed to be a bargain for the next six years? That's a reason for excitement. His excessively negative plus/minus on a dreadful team might cloud the memory of some, but Damon Severson started last season playing a brand of hockey that was easily worth $4.1 million. The following might say more about the market value of young, mobile defensemen than it does about the true development of a 23 year old that was basically thrown in the deep end without floaties when asked to anchor an awful blue line. However, even if he doesn't follow the ascending career trajectory of the last right handed defenseman to get an eerily similar financial commitment from New Jersey, we are talking about a guy that should make a fairly compensated second pairing defenseman for the foreseeable future. If he comes into his own like most promising players at his age and position then the money he's due will only become a laughable underpayment, but - even if he doesn't - he'll likely earn every cent of his 25 million.
Just another example of Ray Shero pulling a 'Shero' if you ask me. Now if he could just find a way to sniff out more competent defensive talent without making a move that equates to cutting off the franchise's nose to spite it's face then we would really be on to something.