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Devil for life? Elias signs three-year, $16.5 million deal with New Jersey

Jul 4, 2013, 12:50 PM EDT

Patrik Elias Getty Images

One of the most important players in Devils franchise history is sticking around for at least three more seasons.

On Thursday, New Jersey announced it had reached a contract extension with Patrik Elias, ensuring the 16-year veteran — who’s spent his entire career with the Devils — would remain with the club.

“To Lou, all my teammates and Devils fans, I’m excited to sign a new contract and be back with New Jersey,” Elias said in a statement. “This year marks my 17th year with the Devils and it’s very special to be a member of one organization for my entire career.”

The deal is for $16.5 million, according to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet. It carries an average annual cap hit of $5.5 million — slightly down from the $6 million hit from Elias’ previous deal.

(NorthJersey.com’s Tom Gulitti confirms Elias has a full no-movement clause, just like his last deal.)

Elias, 37, is the club’s longest-tenured skater (Marty Brodeur is the longest-tenured player) and holds the franchise record for most points in a season and career game-winning goals.

He’s coming off a solid 2013 campaign — 36 points in 48 games, 18:43 TOI average — but had concerns about re-upping in New Jersey given his seven-year, $42 million deal was set to expire tomorrow.

“It’s special for me to play for one team,” he told the New York Times in mid-April. “It would be special to play here my whole career.

“But I understand the business side.”

Both Devils GM Lou Lamoriello and Elias wanted to keep negotiations silent — there was a gag order in effect throughout contract talks — but it was clear both organization and player wanted to continue the relationship.

The Devils hold Elias in high esteem. In February, head coach Peter DeBoer said he felt the Czech forward was a Hall of Famer.

“I don’t think there is any doubt he’s a Hall of Fame player,” DeBoer told the New Jersey Star-Ledger. “It’s a great luxury to have him on the ice and in the dressing room. He thinks like a coach and he has a world-class player’s skills.

“When you’re building a hockey player, you can’t ask for much more than that.”

As for the financials…

With the move, the Devils now have 19 players signed for next season with around $12 million left under the salary cap.

There is still plenty of work to be done. New deals are still required for RFA forwards Adam Henrique and Jacob Josefson, and the future of UFAs David Clarkson and Marek Zidlicky remains cloudy at best.

  1. billyhauntswizards - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Hate the Devils but Elias is one of the greats. Tremendous player. Would be shocked if #26 isn’t hanging from the rafters in a few years.

  2. kingcobraman - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    its great to see a player spend his entire career in on one team… it says a lot about the quality of the player and organization…

  3. 19to77 - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Good value for a guy who generates points and kills penalties with equal effectiveness. Elias is underrated. Guy’s just a little younger than Marty St. Louis and still a top-line producer.

  4. sergeikremlin - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Probably the most underrated player in the NHL along with Loui Eriksson. He is the greatest Devils forward in history — by far — so his jersey will definitely be retired. The big question is whether he gets into the Hall. Considering his championships and his production in both the playoffs and season, I think he will at the end of his career; just not a first-ballot.

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:23 PM

      I’m sure he’ll make the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. The prerequisites are not as difficult as the Hall of Fame. Heck, even Mike Richter made the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame while giving up nearly 3 goals a game, only winning 43 more games than he lost, and barely having a 90% save percentage for his career. Aside from one fluke season, his playoffs stats were even worse. So that kinda gives ya an idea on where the bar is set for the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

      As far as Elias making the Hall of Fame, that’s going to strongly depend on him breaking 1000 points for his career and how close he can get to 500 goals in three years, providing he gets the 25 he needs for the 400 mark. He’s currently not a shoe in.

      However, Devils’ fans are lucky to have him. The one word you could use to describe this guy through out his entire career in your organization is, “Consistent.”

      Can’t say that about many 16 year veterans.

      • pdmjr - Jul 4, 2013 at 6:08 PM

        USA Hall of Fame? He’s Czech

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Jul 4, 2013 at 7:09 PM

        Wrote it too fast without proof reading for clarity. I meant to compare/contrast the prerequisites differences between the U.S. and the Hall. I meant the point to be that if the HOF had lenient marks for acceptance like the U.S.HoF, he’d make it in easily. I’m sure there’s a Czech Hockey HoF that he’s a shoe in for.

        Sorry bout that.

  5. Habib Marwan - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    first class world class i have nothing but respect for this guy

  6. thejrod2006 - Jul 4, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Devils fan here. Love Elias. Glad to see him get a deal done and stay in NJ.

    After losing Parise last year, and bracing to lose Clarkson this year when someone overpays him, losing Elias would’ve been a really tough pill to swallow. Glad it didn’t come to that. Hopefully, Lou has a trick or two up his sleeve to find another forward or two on the market.

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