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Should the Devils surrender their 2012 first-rounder to the NHL?

May 26, 2012, 11:11 PM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk AP

The New Jersey Devils owe the NHL a first-round draft pick. This might be an ideal time for them to pay up.

Back in the summer of 2010, the Devils signed Ilya Kovalchuk to a heavily frontloaded 17-year/$102 million contract. At that point, we had already plenty of contracts that took players past their prime and added on a number of relatively cheap years at the end to keep the overall cap hit low. However, Kovalchuk’s contract was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The NHL fought against the contract and successfully voided it. Although Kovalchuk still eventually signed with New Jersey, the NHL punished the Devils for circumventing the salary cap. The league fined the Devils $3 million, took away their third-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and a first-round pick in one of draft between 2011 and 2014. The silver lining was the Devils could pick when they would surrender their pick within that timeline.

Now that the Devils have advanced to the Stanley Cup finals, this might be an ideal time to finish paying the NHL for their initial attempt to sign Kovalchuk. They will have either the 29th or 30th pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft depending on their finish in the Stanley Cup finals.

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello isn’t ready to show his hand on the subject, but if they don’t forfeit their pick this year, then they risk putting themselves in a less favorable position down the road.

  1. taytay099 - May 26, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Yes; it’s a no brainer.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 27, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      What is lou lammy the second coming of mario the big goof who don’t have to play by the rules like the rest of the league does ? Surrender it should be taken off them yesterday !

  2. vindicatus - May 27, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Send the pick back to “Count Chocula” Bettman. Sit on it and rotate, Gary.

  3. xjokerz - May 27, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    You asked a question to only go on a rant about why they should … You answered your own question… The answer is yes. Oh well lose a 31st pick, you still get a 33-34pixk

  4. greatminnesotasportsmind - May 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    The NHL goofed on this one, they should have made the Devils tell them which year they are going to forfeit the pick, before the season started. Kinda easy now if you had either the last or 2nd to last pick.

  5. danphipps01 - May 27, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Is this a rhetorical question? You give up the lowest pick. This year, they’re in the final. That means this is pretty much guaranteed to be the lowest first they’re going to get. Toss it and expect not to march to the finals each of the next two years. Done and done. Honestly, this worked out pretty favourably for the Devils, all things considered. Then again, if Malcolm Subban is still around at 29th by some freak chance, you could make a solid argument for keeping it. They do need SOME semblance of a future in net, right? Barring that… yeah, this is the year to burn it.

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