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Devils GM’s goal: sign major free agents before July 5

May 29, 2013, 7:30 PM EDT

eliasclarksongetty Getty Images

One look at the New Jersey Devils’ salary structure and it becomes clear that GM Lou Lamoriello has a lot to work to do this summer. The long-time executive told the Bergen Record that the goal is to lock up a bevy of players before the free agent period kicks in on July 5.

“In my opinion, they have to be done before that,” Lamoriello said.

The Devils’ list of free agents is staggering. Here are some of the most noteworthy names:

Unrestricted

Patrik Elias
Dainius Zubrus
David Clarkson
Marek Zidlicky
Peter Harrold
Steve Sullivan
Alexei Ponikarovsky
Tom Kostopoulos

Restricted

Matt D’Agostini
Jacob Josefson
Adam Henrique
Andrei Loktionov

Lamoriello said that D’Agostini isn’t likely to be re-signed and the same is true for Sullivan (who is reportedly “mulling over” retirement). Ponikarovsky seems to be a lower priority consideration while he claims that all RFAs other than D’Agostini will be locked up.

It could be a bumpy offseason for the Devils, especially if they decide to make other decisions about their future. (Both of their aging goalies only have one more year left on their contracts, for instance.)

As far as the draft is concerned, Lamoriello said he’d prefer to land a scoring forward.

  1. tycobbfromfangraphs - May 29, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Good Luck on Clarkson, if his agent has been listening, nearly every team in the league wants his services. Most likely he will be testing FA.

    • devilsarethebest - May 29, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      Lou is preparing an extremely high offer for him in the near future. He’s not going anywhere.

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 29, 2013 at 7:40 PM

        Like I said good luck, coaches love him, the Devils need to resign him.

      • withseidelinn - May 29, 2013 at 10:05 PM

        From your inside sources to Lou Lamoriello right?

      • lordfletcher - May 29, 2013 at 10:26 PM

        Lou is preparing an extremely high offer for him in the near future. He’s not going anywhere.

        - I am sure you were saying the EXACT same thing this time last year. No matter how you look at it, there is always another team willing to pay more to bring in talent, it all depends if he wants to stay for the same pay or looking to pick any team of his choosing. I would be very worried if I were you.

      • devilsarethebest - May 30, 2013 at 1:26 AM

        He’s best friends with Marty, and he’s not like Parise who had a reason to go to Minny. Last year, I didn’t have my hopes up about him, this year, I’m pretty confident. Also, there are valid sources saying that, yes, he is about to be given a huge offer from Lou. He’s not gonna turn it down, he loves being in Jersey and it’s the most money he’ll be offered. Vote Marty for the cover!

  2. oquintero99 - May 29, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    I would be worried in grooming a younger goalie. Hedberg was Ok and Brodeur has what, one or two more years?

    • devilsarethebest - May 29, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      Lou is already on the phone with Dean Lombardi for J. Bernier. Mark my word.

    • devilsarethebest - May 29, 2013 at 8:36 PM

      And Hedberg was absolutely terrible. Might even get bought out, hopefully.

  3. gmenfan1982 - May 29, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    I’d absolutely LOVE clarkson in rangers re white and blue but they just don’t have the cap space.

    • devilsarethebest - May 29, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      And he would rather kill himself than go to the Rags. Only Devil that would ever do that was Gomez, see how he turned out.

      • hockeyflow33 - May 29, 2013 at 10:02 PM

        It was an excellent financial decision for Gomez

      • nm156tjc - May 29, 2013 at 10:27 PM

        Only Devil ever? Off the top of my head: what about John MacLean, Bruce Driver and Bobby Holik?

    • billyhauntswizards - May 29, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      no more ex devils. please.

  4. quizguy66 - May 29, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Clarkson will likely get overpaid. I hope it isn’t the Devils doing the overpayment (I think say, 5 year/$25 will be overpayment).

    I’d say the Leafs are his most likely destination.

    -QG

  5. atwatercrushesokoye - May 29, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Being a fan of a western conference team, and not seeing many (any) Devils games I’m not familiar with Clarkson, I checked his stats and saw his top year was 30/16/46, so I ask in all sincerity why are people so high on him? $5 million a year seems a little high for that.

    • phillyphanatic77 - May 29, 2013 at 11:11 PM

      It’s ridiculously high. He’s had over 40 points one time. And he’s most often compared to Scott Hartnell in terms of play and his potential contract. But Hartnell has had 8 seasons of 39+ plus points, two 30-goal seasons, and two 60-point seasons. Clarkson-97 goals in 8 seasons… Hartnell- 230 goals in 12 seasons. Clarkson is a good, solid grinding power forward but does one career season equal $5mil/yr? That’s insanity. It just reminds me of Bobby Holik singing a big deal with the Rangers and falling well short.

  6. desertfan - May 30, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Keep Clarkson and Henriques and Bye to the rest.

    Start over.

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