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New Jersey’s vaunted fourth line wants to return

Jun 14, 2012, 1:29 PM EDT

Devils 4th line

One of the more improbable developments from New Jersey’s playoff run was the production of its fourth line: Steve Bernier, Ryan Carter and Stephen Gionta.

None of the three began the year on the team. Gionta and Bernier spent a chunk of the season in AHL Albany (Bernier came into Devils camp on a tryout) and Carter was snagged off waivers from Florida — yet when it was all said and done, the trio combined for 21 points in 24 postseason games with a plus-11 rating.

On July 1, all three will become unrestricted free agents — and it sounds like they all want back in the mix.

“I played all year to prove that I want to be part of this organization,” Bernier told NorthJersey.com. “I tried to work as hard as possible and I’m just hoping I’ll be back.”

“I’ve been in this organization for six years now and I love being here and, obviously, I hope to stay,” Gionta added.

“I’d definitely like to come back,” Carter explained. “I think it’s rare when you get a group together that wins like this, so to be a part of it again would be great.”

Financially speaking, the Bernier-Gionta-Carter line was arguably the best in hockey (postseason, anyway.) Carter played on a $750,000 deal while Bernier ($525,000) and Gionta ($512,500) made close to the league minimum.

Each of them will likely seek raises should the Devils want them back, with Carter most likely to get a significant bump. The 28-year-old appeared in 65 games during the regular season — 4G-4A-8PTS — before scoring five times in the playoffs (including a pair of game-winning goals.)

  1. theawesomersfranchise - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Berrier, Gionta and Carter all want to remain in the NHL rather than the AHL where half of the league would have all 3 players.

    Chris Kontos says “Hi”

  2. quizguy66 - Jun 14, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    It would be great if this were able to happen as they have great chemistry.

    -Qg

  3. martysbetter - Jun 14, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    I’d love this, people tend to forget that the Devils often had some combination of Eric Boulton & Cam Janssen on the 4th line for the majority of the year (aka playing with 3 lines)

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