One of the most enjoyable things for me as a hockey fan is having the ability to mess around with CapFriendly's Armchair GM. With the lack of a quality hockey management game out there its my favorite way to see what the future might hold. FHM is still trash, and EHM just needs an update from the people that made it. In the meantime, CapFriendly is my thing.
I started playing around with a trade for this season and resigning some contracts next year, and here is what I came up with:
To New Jersey: LW/RW Timo Meier, LW/C/RW Steve Lorentz
To San Jose: RW Alexander Holtz, LW/C Yegor Sharangovich, Rights to D Seamus Casey, NJ's 1st Rounder in 2023
Nathan Bastian $1.1M/2 years (avoids arbitration)
Michael McLeod $1.5M/2 years (avoids arbitration)
Fabian Zetterlund $1.8M/2 year (avoids arbitration)
The BIG Contracts:
Jesper Bratt - $8M/8 years
Timo Meier - $8.5M/8 years
Tomas Tatar - $5M/3 years
Ryan Graves - $5M/4 years
Zach Aston-Reese - $1.1M/2 years
LHD Luke Hughes, RHD Simon Nemec, RW Graeme Clarke, RW Tyce Thompson, G Akira Schmid
Available Cap Space: $66,667
Next season might not be the lights out year that this year was but this season goes a long way towards solidifying the future of the team. SB Nation projects a cap increase to $87M in the 2024-25 season with Dawson Mercer and Graeme Clarke being the only RFA's to worry about, Tyce Thompson hitting arbitration, and Steven Lorentz as a UFA. With Schnedier's buyout coming off of the books the team will have $11.9M in cap space available. Plenty of room to make some more moves if needed.
Ondrej Palat - Nico Hischier - Jesper Bratt
Timo Meier - Jack Hughes - Fabian Zetterlund
Tomas Tatar - Dawson Mercer - Graeme Clarke
Steven Lorentz - Michael McLeod - Nathan Bastian
SUBS: Zach Aston-Reese, Tyce Thompson
Jonas Siegenthaler - Dougie Hamilton
Luke Hughes - John Marino
Ryan Graves - Simon Nemec
Vitek Vanecek - Akira Schmid
Wrapping It Up:
I think that this is a pretty reasonable take on some roster moves that would make this team better. The addition of a guy like Lorentz gives the team another option with some "size" at wing as the team gets ready to make their playoff run. Obviously, there would have to be some retained salary, perhaps for Meier, or another "paper" move to unload Andres Johnsson. Maybe Johnsson and a third or fourth round pick for the oft traded "Future Considerations."
As far as ranking the Devils' salary contributions when compared to this year's totals as of today, they'd be 2nd for forwards at $51.8M (62%), 11th for defense with $24.8M (29.7%), and 25th for goalies at $4.25M (5.1%).
SO.... Thoughts? Am I out of my mind? Are there overpays? Underpays? What does everyone think?