The New Jersey Devils have signed defenseman David Schlemko to a one-year, one-way contract, at $625,000 (NHL.com). Schlemko was an unrestricted free agent who finished up last season with the Calgary Flames after spending time with two other teams in the Western Conference.
Three teams, one season?
Schlemko played for three different teams in the 2014-15 season. He started the season with the Arizona Coyotes, but was placed on waivers after 20 games. From there, the Dallas Stars picked him up for 5 games before also placing him on waivers. Lastly, the Calgary Flames picked him up after their captain Mark Giordano suffered a season-ending injury in a game against New Jersey.
Yes, this means the Devils will be the fourth NHL team for which Schlemko will play in the calendar year of 2015.
What type of player is he? Has he been effective?
As he's spent his career in the Western Conference up until now, Devils fans may be unfamiliar with his play style. Conveniently, Matchsticks & Gasoline wrote up a report card for his performance last season with lots of positive commentary, emphasizing his positive possession numbers:
Aside from winning that first game for his new team, he provided steady defence and was the top skater (minimum 10 games played) on the team in possession stats in both the regular season and the playoffs. On a 44% Corsi team, David Schlemko was the only skater who played over 10 games that came out as a positive possession player - that's impressive.
Can he pull off a Forsberg impression?
Source: NHL (YouTube)
I don't think any Devils fans would complain about a few more shootout goals, especially not ones like this.
Yes, it's another defenseman. However, it's also another player with years of NHL experience, solid possession numbers (on a team which struggled in that department), and an offensive mind with skills in moving the puck around the ice. What's your take on this signing?