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Devils Get Make Early Trade Deadline Push Written by Marty - February 28th, 2009

The New Jersey Devils are the CMHL's most up/down team ever. One season their pushing for the stanley cup and another season their destroying everything in an attempt to land high picks and rebuild.

 

Season 5 seems to be following the trend of making the playoffs and the Devils have made a couple moves to hopefully break free from what was described "The clusterf*ck that is the Eastern Conference playoff race."

GM Marty has taken a pro-active approach to making the playoffs. Early this week Marty hammered out a deal with the San Jose Sharks to land the big shot d-man Kurt Sauer in exchange for Jeff Woywitka and Cody Almond. The Devils saw in Sauer a big shot for the power-play to give the Devils a scoring option on the backend besides Nik Lidstrom. Where Sauer has some more value though is a decent strength with a good disciple so he can take the body without taking a penalty which is key for the next tid-bit.

 

The Devils also made a bigger trade on Saturday, this time with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Coming to the Devils are high scoring centre Brendan Morrison and tough-as-nails d-man Garnett Exelby. Morrison has been the kind of player the Devils have been in need of all season, and Marty hopes that he'll be what's needed to get the inconsistent offense going. The other piece coming to the Devils is Garnett Exelby a young crease clearing D-man, more concerned with crushing the oncoming forward then making a stick check. Unfortunately that comes with a painfully low discipline so he'll likely take a penalty doing it.

 

This now holds the question, what are the lines?

 

In all likely hood, the Kariya-Carter-Selanne line will likely stay together. Though they've had a harsh last few games, they do seem to work well together and compliment eachother's styles. So what to do with the rest. The Devils will in all likelyhood take $1M and convert Nedved to the leftwing where he has a bit of experience which allows the more suitable Brendan Morrison to play centre, where his speed and defensive instincts make him more suited to centre the line where those aspects are more utilized than the wing. This in all will liekly see the line of Nedved-Morrison-Kobasew to finish the run. What's got Marty more giddy is that with Nedved's retiring and Morrison likely to be re-signed with Selanne, the Devils can slot one of Hagman,Lucic or Boedker into that spot for season 6. The third line of McAmmond-Madden-Burrows had been effective, but sliding Hagman down into where McAmmond was doesn't change much of the line as Hagman is a defensively responsible winger with a good scoring stat. Axe and Army will still be PK specialists.

 

The D pairings though are likely to be swapped around to cover some of the weaker defense stats. Being paired with Nik Lidstrom will be Paul Martin. Martin is a jack of all trades, master of none. pairing him with the Devils top D should get the most of Martin. Jack Johnson will be paired with Garnett Exelby. Johnson has an excellent defence score which should help cover Exelby's lower, but not terrible score. The final pairing will be Sauer and Janik, but this is definately not set in stone and when the deadline raise comes in, expect the Devils to push for another defenceman.

 

This new lineup should help make the final push to make the Devils contenders and possibly get a chance to land their first division title and second stanley cup title. It all depends on whether the players work together and Raycroft play up above his potential.

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