I've said it in multiple recaps to preseason games, I've suggested it when it became news he would come to the New Jersey Devils on a professional try out contract, and I just wrote it earlier this afternoon on this very site. It has come true. Andy Strickland has reported that the Devils have indeed signed Lee Stempniak.
For one year and less than a million dollars, the Devils have added to their right-wing depth, added someone with experience to handle the position on a bad team, and added someone who can help out in multiple situations. There is little to complain about for all that. Stempniak will likely be a third line winger, but he won't just take 12-14 minutes and be done with it. He can kill penalties, he didn't look that out of place in overtime, and he can do some spot duty on a higher line if the situation calls for it. He was absolutely one of the standout players throughout preseason; he was consistent in each game. Based on what I saw, he earned this deal. I don't think there will be too many who think otherwise. Should he continue to be a solid bottom-six forward, there's a chance he could be moved at the deadline for the Devils to pick up an extra pick in the middle of a future draft or a different player. It's what happened in each of the last two seasons.
In any case, I think this is a very good signing. He passed his try-out, and it's a small, short-term deal. He should serve his purpose at helping the Devils not be total doormats in 2015-16. Now I want to know your opinion. Are you pleased to see Stempniak signed with the Devils for this season? How do you think he'll be used? Please leave your answers and other thoughts on this signing in the comments. Thank you for reading.