Who stays, who goes? Part 2
I placed each New Jersey Devils defenseman, and goaltender, into a tier based on age, performance, contract status, and more.
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On Tuesday I combed through the New Jersey Devils’ forward group and attempted to predict will be, could be, and won’t be returning.
In the second and final part of this mini-series, I’ll be doing the same for the established defensemen and goaltenders on the roster.
Let’s get to it.
NOT GOING ANYWHERE
Dougie Hamilton - Dougie’s debut season with the Devils didn’t exactly go to plan. He spent much of the season fighting injuries, the power play was useless all year, and he had no goaltending behind him from start to finish. I think a combination of those issues has some worried the Devils dug themselves a big hole in signing Hamilton. I don’t buy it. I’m very confident with a full summer to get healthy, and a power play coach who can help make it useful, Hamilton will respond in a big way next season.
As CJ wrote in April, one off year while playing hurt should not be enough to press the panic button on a guy who has long been one of the top defensemen in the sport.
Jonas Siegenthaler - I’ll be short and sweet with this one. Siegenthaler placed tougher competition than all three Norris finalists and posted some of the very best defensive impacts in the sport. He is a God of Defense and signed for another season at 1/5 the amount he should be making. I could honestly call him untouchable because there is absolutely nothing the team could get for him that’d provide more value given a) how good he is and; b) how much he makes; and c) how badly his skill set is needed on the team.
VERY LIKELY STAYING…BUT MAYBE NOT
Damon Severson - Severson is eligible to sign an extension in July. Be it this summer or down the road, I do think there is interest from both sides in figuring things out. Whatever the case, it makes absolutely no sense for Tom Fitzgerald to keep Severson past the deadline – when he could’ve sold a team two playoff runs with Severson – only to pull the plug now. Even if Severson’s contract demands are deemed unreasonable, the Devils will likely keep him for next season and re-evaluate their options down the road.
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