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Jersey door: Devils waive Volchenkov for compliance buyout

Jun 30, 2014, 12:27 PM EDT

volchenkovgetty Getty Images

Four years ago, the Devils kicked off free agency by signing Anton Volchenkov to a six-year, $25.5 million deal.

Today, they made the first move in getting it off their books.

The Devils have waived Volchenkov for the purpose of using a compliance buyout on his deal, per The move will free New Jersey from his $4.25 million cap hit next season and the one following, but the club will pay Volchenkov $1.4 million per year in salary until 2018.

While GM Lou Lamoriello has repeatedly played coy about the possibility of amnestying a contract, Volchenkov always seemed like the most probable candidate given his plummeting ice time (he averaged the least of any Devils defenseman last year) and the fact he missed extensive time over the last two years with a myriad of injuries.

What’s more, his foot speed has been called into question and at 32, there are major concerns he’ll only get slower.

As such, it’ll be interesting to see where Volchenkov lands. A team could take a one-year flier on him to fill out the roster (Buffalo, anyone?) but it also seems like a return to Russia could definitely be in the cards. Volchenkov played for Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo of the KHL during the 2012-13 lockout, and has represented Russia on numerous occasions at both the World Championships and Olympics.

This marks the second of two compliance buyout the Devils have used, having already amnestied Johan Hedberg’s contract last summer. It’s worth noting that, once the Volchenkov transaction is complete, New Jersey will have $13 million in available cap space.

  1. thecheeman - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Lou you had us scared… but thanks for making the right move

  2. jerseyinvt - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Good start, but I was really hoping Salvador would be gone too..

    • withseidelinn - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      They’ll most likely wait for him to retire since he’s considerably older.

      • nickdesposito - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        Also, Salvador only has one year left and it was for less of a cap hit. They can absorb that pretty easily.

  3. pj608 - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Rather see salvador bought out. Keep Volchenkov for now and maybe we can resign him for less money when the time is right. Please…. Please get stastny or O’Rielly. Two guys that arent over 30 and are crafty players whom would fit the system well. But you gotta by out salvador. Theres quite a few defenders that will be coming up from the AHL this season. Anything will be better than him on the ice at atleast you can get some of the new guys some time to get adjusted. Gelinas, Larsson and Merril will definitely be ready to give some time in the NHL, more so than they have in the past. Also I believe Boucher and scott timmins are ready for a smaller role on the team. i would like to say Matteau is ready but i think he is just lazy and doesnt work on himself until near the end of the season.

    • jerseyinvt - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      Like your thoughts on this..Makes a lot of sense..

    • nj666 - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      yeah i have to agree with you on all of that, Lou still needs to re-sign fayne as well.

  4. barkar942 - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Cups! What’s your take? Mine is they have 13M in space and will only spend about 3 of it.

    • 950003cups - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      The Devils can spend up to the limit. In fact, then they were in financial ruin, hey still spent to the top. That the good thing about Lou. Now they have deeper pockets than they ever had in their history. The problem with Lou spending to the cap ceiling is that most of the important dollars are wasted on older players who are stuck on NTCs that Lou likes to give out like M&Ms.

      If Lou had decent scouts, he could get younger players and not have to rely on older guys all the time.

    • pj608 - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      If they only spend 3 million i would be fine with that…. Most of the guys they signed last year after Kovalphuks departure were all busts except for Jagr and ryder. I am still trying to wrap my head around why they traded Loktionov for Ruutu. They should of kept him for that cap or just traded him for a 3rd round pick.

      All in all though if they have a ton of cap going into the season so what? who know what can happen towards the end of the season when free agency picks up again. I have faith and i know Lou is smart and will not over pay players. Even Kovalchuks contract wasnt all that bad, if he stayed.

      If you know anything about the Devils all the players that leave to get more money end up being a bust on other teams. Lou knows what is right and when the right time to let people go is. He knows not to over pay and risk not having a full line up with depth. This will be a great team again it will just take time. Remember, Parise left because we didnt have cap to sign suter. We had the space to sign Parise. He didnt want to play with out his boyfriend. I dont even need to explain about kovalchuk, I am already starting to reiterate thinking about that….

      • pj608 - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        Regurgitate**** – Damn I phone

      • 950003cups - Jun 30, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        I believe you are of the “newer batch” of Devils fans. You have Lou pegged all wrong. He’s not the genius you all think he is.

        “If you know anything about the Devils all the players that leave to get more money end up being a bust on other teams. Lou knows what is right and when the right time to let people go is.”

        *** Parise, Martin, Neidermayer, and Rafalski all were FAR from “busts” on their respective teams.

        He knows not to over pay and risk not having a full line up with depth.”

        ***HERE’S A QUOTE FROM 10/11/10
        “The Devils will face the Pittsburgh Penguins this afternoon at Prudential Center (4 p.m. start) with only 15 skates—three fewer the the maximum allowed—because of their salary cap problems.”

      • 950003cups - Jun 30, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        any questions?

        Holik, Rolston, Pandolfo, and White were all “loyalty” contracts that we got stuck with because Lou was being Lou and forgot that those guys were old and slow.

      • thecheeman - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        on top of the list from 950003cups…

        Brian Gionta deserves at least a mention. Also we had Anton Stralman in camp 2012-2013 and could have paid him minimum salary but there wasn’t room for him on the team I guess. He’s arguably the Rangers’ 2nd best defenseman the last two seasons.

      • 950003cups - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:51 PM


        Stralman didn’t play his way on to the team in training camp. I thought he was good, but Lou and Pete didn’t. Gionta is another point, but not at the top of the list I mentioned.

        Lou isn’t good anymore. Most fans that know the team well and are familiar with many of the decisions in the past have basically said in different words “Lou has been asleep at the wheel since the (05) lockout”

  5. dontbebitter - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Anyone saying different… just stop. This was the only move that could be made. The first step in the right direction.

    • pj608 - Jun 30, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      Niedermeyer went to go play with his brother and win a cup with him after he beat him in the stanley cup playoffs. parise isnt putting up the numbers he was in NJ and Parise left bc NJ didnt have cap to sign suter. They had space to sign parise and at the time ralfalski was replaceable and Brodeur had his best years when he was gone. So check out all that, Learn something and then come back and talk to me.

      • 950003cups - Jun 30, 2014 at 6:55 PM

        Maybe its time you zip your lip and learn that I know what I’m talking about.

        Neidermayer left to play with his brother. Yes.
        But he told the Lou that’s what he wanted long before the 03 Cup series.Lou had the opportunity to trade for his brother from Calgary (at that time) but was too slow and Anaheim picked him up at the deadline with the hopes of getting Scott soon after. Rob had 54 games and 8 goals, yet Anaheim went to trade for him. Rob was never a good player.

        Rafalski was offered a contract but he turned it down to play in Detroit.

        Parise was complaining for a long time that nobody wanted to talk to him on the Devils for a new contract. Then he went to hire Wade Arnott (brother of Jason) who is known to be very successful in FA. Lou dropped the ball long before that.

        anything else? I might start charging you.

  6. buckhome - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Asking Devils fans – who would be a better signing for a team looking for a d-man, Volchenkov or Fayne?

    • pj608 - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      volchenkov blocks shots but is slow. Fayne turnsover the puck a lot but is better offensively. Depends on what you rather have…. in my book i wouldnt be mad if both were gone because nj has Gelinas Merril, Harold, Greene and Zidlicky that are all offensively sound and can play d. Larsson will wake up one day. We all hope

      • 950003cups - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:58 PM


        You’re wrong on almost every part of that response.
        Fayne doesn’t turn over the puck, that’s Zidlicky.
        Offensively Fayne is HORRENDOUS.
        Merrill has no offensive skills but very good defense mentality and has good hockey sense. He can also skate the puck out of harms way.
        Larsson in many scouting reports still may be one of the leagues top dmen if he was under a different coach.

      • pj608 - Jun 30, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        Oh yeah? Fayne doesnt turn over the puck almost everytime he tries to make an outlet pass out of the zone? When Zidlicky turns over the puck its in the offensive zone, not the break outs. Merril has a BOMB of a shot and is great defensively and can make great passes. All of which count as offense. Larsson, yeah maybe if he was under a different coach but thats what the Caps have been saying about Ovi for the past Decade….. Its just an excuse. So have a look and rethink who is wrong. You are wrong on everything you post. Doesnt matter though. think what you will. That is why Zidlicky got resigned and Volchenkov got bought out and fayne is on his way out as well.

      • 950003cups - Jun 30, 2014 at 7:07 PM

        Merrill has a BOMB of a shot? LOL
        I think you’re talking about Gelinas.
        Fayne doean’t make outlet passes. He passed to Greene (his usual partner) who then skates it out or passes it.

        You can’t just make up stuff and say “I’m right and your wrong” You don’t know what your talking about, and just accept it.

    • 950003cups - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      Volchenkov by a mile!!!!! He’s slow, but Fayne isn’t much faster. A-Train can still make crushing hits, Fayne doesn’t. ATrain does have a decent point shot, as Fayne will almost always miss an open net. What makes Fayne good, is that he’s a good stay-at-home dman, and can clear the crease. But he has no outlet passing skills, cant move the puck, and can’t shoot, and is still slow.

      • pj608 - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:59 PM

        solid points….

  7. jerseyinvt - Jun 30, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    So let me ask some of you what you think about this scenario…

    What about trading with Toronto for Phaneuf?

    What are your thoughts?

  8. multiplemiggs - Jun 30, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    Buffalo…LMAO Idk what it is with ppl…theyre a bunch of overrated rats who all get traded, the team falls apart, and somehow ppl stil think theyre going to be good lmao They think theyre gonna get McDavid on the Isles pick for Vanek HAHAHAHA Keep smoking the meth! #UpstateTrash

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