Today, the New Jersey Devils organization made two signings more likely to affect Albany than New Jersey. Earlier this afternoon, Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice reported that the team signed defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani and goaltender Yann Danis. These are minor deals, as evidenced by both contracts being for one year, two-way deals at the NHL minimum salary of $575,000.
You may remember Danis as one of the many backups behind Martin Brodeur. He was with the Devils in 2009-10; a stop gap between his time in the Islanders and Oilers organizations. He was OK with a 92.3 save percentage in twelve appearances with New Jersey. However, that and his 31 games with the Islanders in 2008-09 would be the highest he ever reached. He only made four NHL appearances since then and since spent most of his time in the AHL. The 34-year old has done well enough to stick around in the A. He should be a suitable partner to Scott Wedgewood with the Albany Devils.
You may not remember Marc-Andre Gragnani, but you might have seen him before. He was a 2005 draft pick by Buffalo and would eventually get into the NHL. However, he never really did much as he only made 59 appearances with the Sabres over four seasons. After failing to really stick with Vancouver and crack Carolina, Gragnani spent the last two seasons abroad. He was a regular with Prague Lev in 2013-14 and he was a significant producer - he led the NLA in scoring by defensemen with 37 points - with Bern in Switzerland last season. He's 28 and should provide additional depth from Albany. A veteran presence, if you will, without being significantly old. There's an outside chance we could see him in New Jersey as a call-up due to multiple injuries; but I would expect him to be behind Vojtech Mozik, Seth Helgeson, and Raman Hrabarenka on the depth chart for that to happen. We'll see if training camp and preseason changes that order, though.
These are two minor signings from the New Jersey perspective. While they're NHL contracts, they are one-year, two-way deals for the league minimum salary. They were really made for Albany. Albany needed another goalie and Ray Shero got one who could push Wedgewood as needed. The A-Devs also needed another body on defense and got someone who should be able to handle himself well in the AHL. While I think New Jersey could use another right winger and Albany could use another forward, Ray Shero's offseason may be close to being done. All that really remains is re-signing their restricted free agents, prospect camp in July, hopefully getting a new director of scouting, and then preparing for preseason. In any case, please have your say about the signings of Danis and Gragnani in the comments. Thank you for reading.