If last offseason was a break from the norm for the Devils - in that we spent the most money in UFA - this offseason has been a bit of a break the mold type so far too, seeing as we'll have no big losses to overcome. GM Lou Lamoriello re-signed the Devils' two biggest free agents in defenseman Andy Greene and goalie Johan Hedberg just after the start of UFA this afternoon. Financial terms haven't been fully disclosed yet on Hedberg, but finally we've at least learned the terms of Greene's cap hit, which will be $3 million per year for the next four seasons.
I've been on record as saying I didn't want Greene back if it was longer than two years, and surely not at more than $2 million per. That said this isn't the worst contract Lamoriello's given out in recent years, even with Greene's ghastly -22 fresh in the mind last season and with his inconsistent play only becoming consistent under Jacques Lemaire the last two seasons. With Greene's age and the market for UFA defensemen, if it came to having to move the contract to make room for younger defensemen in a couple years that shouldn't be a problem. After all, we were able to move Johnny Oduya's contract and that was imo far worse than this one. Not to mention the Hawks recently moving the albatross that is Brian Campbell to the Panthers, who proceeded to overpay for a ton more mediocrity over the last twelve hours.
As far as Hedberg goes, I wanted him back and on a one-year deal so mission accomplished from that end. Hopefully the salary isn't too high but his play certainly did merit a raise from last season's $1.5 million in cap dollars. Interestingly, both Hedberg and Greene indicated they left money on the table to remain with the Devils. Judging by many of today's signings, they're pretty much the only ones who did so. And quite frankly this is why you don't tank games late in the season, since there's pretty much no way Hedberg and Greene take hometown discounts if the Devils remained the unmitigated mess they were in the first half.
Also intriguing from our standpoint was one of Lou's quotes about how they won't be able to make any more additions without a subtraction (meaning a trade), adding 'we're looking to do so'. That's more than Lou usually admits to in public, especially given how long it took for the financial terms of Greene's deal to come out. Plus given the fact that Lou admitted we need to improve the puck-moving from the back end leads me to believe he's indeed working the trade mill.
I'm sure Derek will be along with the recap of the rest of a wild day that you could make a David Letterman top ten list of bad contracts with. Not to mention the Avs' hideous trade of a first and second-round picks for the Caps' injury-prone Semyon Varlamov. Shades of the Senators' Pascal Leclaire deal a couple of years ago, except that they gave up 'only' the second-rounder.