Today is the last day to make a trade in the 2017-18 regular season. Need a piece to go over the top? Want to start breaking down a roster for a re-build? Want to make a move for the sake of making a move? Today is the last day to do that for this season. Today, all trades need to be registered with the league office by 3:00 PM EST. There may be some announcements after 3 PM ET, but they all have to be in with the league by then. After that, the 23-man active roster limit will be removed, the salary cap and the 50 contract limit both remain in place, and that is that in terms of deals until the season is completed. This is the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline.
Will the New Jersey Devils do something today? Maybe, maybe not. While the Devils have absolutely exceeded preseason expectations, they are in an odd spot. For starters, they made a significant trade a few days ago. Ray Shero made the first ever trade between the Devils and the Rangers; the Devils acquired Michael Grabner for a 2018 second round draft pick and defenseman prospect, Yegor Rykov. For another, the Devils are on pace to making the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Clearly, they’re not in a position to sell. I certainly do not want them to blow anything up; not after all of this. There are some roster needs that could be addressed: like left-sided defensemen or skaters who can drive play or gain the zone beyond dumping it in.
Yet, they are not in a position to really be buyers. Those needs will not be cheaply met. Sure, the Devils have oodles of cap space (CapFriendly has the Devils with $7.6 million in cap space; they should be able to add just about anyone they would want) and plenty of room to add contracts (they have 3 spots now per CapFriendly). However, I do not think they do not have enough prospect depth to confidently move that first round pick or one of their better prospects. Especially after moving the 2018 second round pick and one of the team’s few defenseman prospects to New York for Grabner. The NHL players they have are a reason why they are where they are, so nobody with value appears to be worth moving for anything short of outstanding. If you believe that Ray Shero is still playing the long game, then the smart play could be to stand pat today and look for moves in June and July.
Of course, if a massive deal is available, then Shero would at least have to consider the situation. Such is the fun of the NHL Trade Deadline. The speculation and rumors may be real, may be false, or some mix of both. And, other than the moves that are made, you will not know the complete truth unless you’re in with the management personnel involved.
This is an open post for you to discuss what goes on the NHL Trade Deadline. What has happened, what is about to happen, and what shouldn’t happen in terms of trades and transactions. Please feel free to chat about what the New Jersey Devils should do, should not do, and what they have done so far. You can even talk up what other teams do; what those other seven teams in the Metropolitan Division do could impact the Devils.
Please do not post false rumors, “hot tips from sources” that nobody knows, and cite Twitter accounts that aren’t legit or real insiders (Hint: spelling insider wrong is a clue that they aren’t). Nobody here has the time for riling people up over fake rumors and made up junk that wouldn’t fly in the EA NHL games. Instead, please stick to following real people with real Verified marks on Twitter accounts. Follow real sources of news from known beat reporters (e.g. Andrew Gross of Fire & Ice - Gross will be missed as he moves to Newsday in March) to big companies (e.g. as mentioned, TSN) to credible hubs (e.g. SB Nation’s 2018 NHL Trade Rumor Hub). As always: It’s better to be right than first. All other rules apply (no trolling, no swearing, etc.) to this post as well.
We’ll keep up with what the Devils do during the day as it happens and likely will have a summary up in the evening at some point. The Devils are off tonight; their next game is tomorrow at Pittsburgh. Therefore, whatever addition or subtraction they will make will be seen against a difficult opponent right away. (Aside: February Month in Review should be up on March 5.) After the Trade Deadline, it’s the Stretch Run of the season. The 19 games remaining on the schedule are really challenging for the Devils on paper. Until then, enjoy today’s NHL Trade Deadline! Thank you for reading.