The New Jersey Devils Need to Make a Move at the Trade Deadline
The New Jersey Devils cannot sit idle at the trade deadline. The team, as it is currently constructed, is not talented or deep enough to win a Stanley Cup without a lot of luck. Additionally, they’re not bad enough to sell off veterans in the final year of a deal like David Clarkson in order to build for the future.
Either way, it does the Devils little good to decide not to make a decision.
If the Devils are serious about this season, which they should be in the twilight of Martin Brodeur‘s career, New Jersey needs to add some offense or defensive stability to the roster. Brodeur is still effective and his puck-handling ability helps a middling defense immensely, but in what could be one of his final seasons, New Jersey should be looking to bolster the roster.
If not, they should be making moves to build for the future. Clarkson will be a difficult situation after consecutive productive seasons to close out his contract. He also has a below-average skill set for a top-six forward. The Devils need to decide if he’s in their long-term plans, despite lengthy slump in the second half of this shortened season.
Additionally, they still have eight defensemen, at least three of which are struggling immensely. Dealing either Clarkson or a defensemen for prospects will help build towards next year.
Ultimately, if the Devils idle at the NHL trade deadline, they waste two opportunities. The first is the more obvious of the two: the Devils should be building up for a playoff run as Brodeur begins to fade away gracefully. The second detriment to staying idle at the deadline is that the Devils could get something in return for players like Clarkson or any of their aging defensemen before they leave for nothing.
The Devils owe it to Brodeur to build up a Stanley Cup roster. The NHL trade deadline is New Jersey’s last chance to do so.